The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh on Tuesday said that the commission has empowered its project assessment committee to begin visits to project sites in communities across the Niger Delta region.
Nunieh spoke during a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt by some chiefs from Kula in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers state, under the auspices of Concerned Citizens of Kula Kingdom.
The NDDC chief executive officer said that through its findings in the just concluded contract verification exercise, the commission has been able to reduce its indebtedness to contractors and consultants considerably.
She declared: “We are ready to begin the projects’ assessment which will entail going to the sites and it would be a name and shame exercise.”
Nunieh emphasized that the interim management committee, which she heads would not succumb to the pressures from contractors, who want to be paid even before validation of their claims.
The NDDC boss urged the Kula chiefs to support the interim management committee and stand with the NDDC to ensure the sustainable development of the Niger Delta, noting that the story of the region would not be complete without a mention of the contributions of Kula as an oil-producing community.
Nunieh said that the assessment committee has worked out a schedule for the visit to project sites in various communities, including Kula to inspect on-going projects, emphasizing that no contractor would be paid without evidence of work done.
She said: “I want to assure you that we will visit your community for site inspection. We expect your people to receive us. We will look at the measurements and every detail of work done and if they are accurate, we will pay.
“I want to say that I am privileged to be at NDDC at this time. The money for the execution of projects is not mine. It belongs to the federal government and if a contractor does well, I don’t see why he will not be paid.”
Earlier in their presentation, the Concerned Citizens of Kula led by Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, appealed for the investigation, reconsideration and completion of abandoned NDDC projects in Kula and other communities in the kingdom.
In a petition signed by Sara-Igbe and 18 other chiefs, they thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the conduct of forensic audit of the NDDC.