The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice says President
Muhammadu Buhari should blacklist all contractors involved in
substandard projects and Nigerian banks that aided them.

It also supported a call by the Edo State government for a forensic
probe of the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission,
owing to what it described as "shoddy, incomplete, abandoned and
substandard projects" executed by the NDDC in the past six months.

ANEEJ  Executive Director, David Ugolor,  in a statement on Wednesday,
said the reports concerning the ineffectual activities of the NDDC
were disheartening especially as money being appropriated to the NDDC
and other Niger Delta institutions, had not been put to good use to
meet the collective hopes and aspirations of the peoples of the Niger
Delta.

The group said it aligned itself with the position of the government
for the singular reason that "it reiterates an early position we
enunciated in our novel report, Citizen Report Card on Niger Delta
Institutions, which ANEEJ published in 2015 with LITE-Africa".

According to the report, most of the projects executed by the NDDC and
NDIs were either being abandoned, executed in a sub-par way or
abandoned.

"Subsequently, President Buhari in 2018 made an extra 18% budgetary
allocation to the NDDC. That expression of political will, however,
has not matched the projects on the ground. What is the region really
doing with the 13% derivation fund?" the statement said.

The Edo State government which made the call for a probe of the
activities of the NDDC in the past six months said it had instructed
its solicitors to take legal action against contractors executing
substandard projects in the state.

According to the state governor Godwin Obaseki, people must go to jail
for their corrupt acts.

"In addition to the Edo State government’s call for a probe of the
NDDC, we call on the federal government to vigorously pursue the
blacklisting of all contractors, and the banks as well, which have in
one way or the other worked with these contractors to execute
substandard projects.

"We will refer Mr. President Buhari, and indeed Mr. Obaseki to
recommendations made by communities our report covered to wit, that:
(i) the NDDC be open and transparent and to do proper consultation
with communities before they embark on projects, and (ii) independent
monitoring teams should participate in project supervision during
project implementations to ensure compliance and quality assurance to
avoid substandard or incomplete and abandoned projects," said Ugolor.

“As we mark Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary, many Nigerians,
particularly Niger Deltans are sad that in spite of the natural
endowments of the region, corruption has continued to impoverish the
people, exacerbated unemployment, destroyed livelihoods, and
disempowered the people.

"We, therefore, support a forensic probe of NDDC’s expenditure of a
whopping N20bn on inexplicable and substandard projects in the past
six months,” Ugolor added.
 

 

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