Ojougboh, Manager Clash Over 300 NDDC Contracts
Senator James Manager has dared the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Interim Management Committee (IMC) to name the lawmaker who allegedly got about 300 contracts from the agency.
The Delta South Senator, whose victory was recently upheld by the Appeal Court in Benin, also challenged the committee to forward the Senator’s name to the relevant law enforcement agency for investigation and possible prosecution.
The IMC said it would soon do so.
NDDC Acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, last week, said 120 out of the 300 contracts awarded to a senator from Delta State, had been fully paid for but were not delivered. He did not name the Senator.
Reacting to the development via his Facebook page, Manager, who said he was currently “out of the country on an official trip,” said he had received several calls on the issue.
He wrote: “I have been inundated with several communications about what Hon. Dr Cairo Ojougboh said about NDDC and a Delta Senator on the award of contracts. I have always known Dr Cairo to be a bold, fearless, courageous and tall man.
“On this matter, he appears to be a disastrous disappointment on his failure to name the particular Senator from Delta that is involved.
“Instead, his outburst has given a job to pull him down heavy-weight politicians and their ever-ready hangouts to make stupendous insinuations and innuendos.
“Dr Cairo, it will do you well to do the needful. Just mention the name in public and submit same to law enforcement agencies.”
Ojougboh yesterday replied Manager, saying that the Commission has already forwarded the issue to the anti-corruption agencies and that the particular senator would soon be known.
Ojougbo said in a statement: “The Commission has forwarded the matter to the anti-corruption agencies and the particular Senator will soon be invited and the public will know the person soon.”
According to him, the IMC would continue to carry out inspections and verification of abandoned and ongoing NDDC projects in the region.
He said the committee would ensure the forensic audit takes place as directed by the President.
Also yesterday, the NDDC said President Muhammadu Buhari will soon inaugurate the N10.9 billion Kaa-Ataba Road and Bridge linking Khana Local Government Area to Andoni Council of Rivers State, which it constructed.
Acting Managing Director Dr Joi Nunieh, during an inspection of NDDC’s projects in Rivers State, said the 4.7-kilometre road with a bridge would be fast-tracked to ensure that the project was completed by the end of January 2020.
Nunieh disclosed that NDDC’s IMC would use the project to demonstrate that Buhari’s administration cared for people who live in rural communities.
Giving her impressions on the Kaa-Ataba bridge, Nunieh said she was delighted that the project, which was awarded in 2009 and appeared neglected, had been revived.
She noted that the contractor had returned to the site and that the project would be completed to give people of communities in Andoni LGA access to modern facilities in other parts of Rivers.
According to Nunieh, when the road with the bridge is completed, many people from the area would be going to work from their villages.
The NDDC chief stated that some of the Andoni LGA’s communities were important in their own rights, citing Oyorokoto, one of the largest fishing ports in the Niger Delta region, as very significant.
The team from the commission had earlier inspected ongoing work at the 13-floor permanent headquarters building of NDDC on Eastern Bypass, Port Harcourt.
She said: “I am impressed that work is going on according to plans. We are just going to make a few changes and amendments. For instance, we will change the cladding on the outer walls, because it no longer meets international best practices.”
At the site of the Niger Delta Regional Specialist Hospital in Port Harcourt, comprising orthopaedic and cardiovascular units, Nunieh expressed displeasure with the state of the buildings, now being occupied by illegal tenants.
Ojougboh said the IMC was determined to complete the project within a very short time.
“Our mandate is clear and we are determined to deliver on impactful projects. We will encourage the contractors to do their work properly.” The NDDC team also inspected the completed barracks built for the Special Protection Unit, Base 6 at Omagwa on the outskirts of Port Harcourt.
The complex includes an administrative building and six blocks of residential quarters.