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Numbers of abandoned, poorly executed projects in Niger Delta unacceptable – Minister

The Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has unveiled his agenda for the region, vowing to revolutionize quality and standard of infrastructure for the good use of the people.

Momoh, who stated this in Abuja during his inaugural press briefing tagged ‘Special Development Agenda for the Niger Delta’, insisted that construction of standard infrastructure would be his watchword.

Momoh, who described as unacceptable the level of abandoned and poorly executed projects doted on the region, especially contracts handled under the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), promised to revisit the report of the forensic audit of the contracts awarded by the commission.

He warned that contractors who handled various NDDC projects spread across the region that were either abandoned or poorly executed would have questions to answer.

According to the Minister, “When I said we want to construct standard projects, the implications of that is that we also have agencies in the Niger Delta, which I have already told you like the NDDC that’s charged with the responsibility of constructing projects.

“I said that under my watch, we will make sure that the projects they will execute will be of quality and standard. Not projects that when they are executed today , maybe in one or two years, they give way.

“That’s the exactly what I have said. As to projects which we are going to execute between now and the next two years, I have not been properly briefed, but you can see I am here now. They (ministry” top management staff) are here and they are going to brief me on what they have done so far.

“And somebody (one of you journalists) has equally mentioned today that about 13,000 projects are abandoned in the Niger Delta area.

“As I am taking now I don’t know the projects. It’s after I have taken a proper study of what is on ground then I will come up with that statement.“There is a forensic audit that have been conducted by the Federal Government. That forensic audit, we will take a look at it and we will see those projects that are functional, those that are ongoing. Some contractors have abandoned their projects, there are some persons among those 13,000 projects who collected money and they didn’t do anything.

“So, we will take a look at all those things with a view to knowing how to address them in due course .”

The minister warned that poorly executed projects would no longer be allowed in the region, while condemning the deplorable state of road in region.

The minister, who noted that the huge number of abandoned projects in Niger Delta region is worrisome, added, “We will take look at the failed and uncompleted projects in the region.”

Momoh, however, was reassured that thousands of uncompleted and abandoned projects across the Niger Delta region will be given timely attention and prompt completion.

He assured that the ministry will collaborate with the NDDC to carry out an audit of existing projects to discern which are viable for onward completion.

He said that as a Development Ministry, the focus will be on building “standard” infrastructures that will stand the test of time. He added, “If we want to build infrastructure, it has to be standard. NDDC projects are nothing to write home about.”

Momoh decried the living conditions of Niger Deltans, especially those living along the coastal lines. He also reiterated President Bola Tinubu’s assurance that all the country’s refineries will be revamped.

In his opening remarks earlier, Permanent Secretary of the MNDD, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, who admitted that the pace of work in the Niger Delta region had slowed down owing to the absence of an overseeing Minister, expressed optimism that work will kick off immediately with the coming of the new minister.(THE GUARDIAN)

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