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No room for bad jobs, fraud in NDDC~Alaibe

Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on 2005/06/18 | Views: 501 |

No room for bad jobs, fraud in NDDC~Alaibe

The reconstituted Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission has taken adequate steps to ensure that no contractor who performs or executes a shoddy job collects money from the Commission.

The reconstituted Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission has taken adequate steps to ensure that no contractor who performs or executes a shoddy job collects money from the Commission.

Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, the NDDC re-appointed Director of Administration and Finance who said this stressed that unlike in the days of the defunct OMPADAC when unscrupulous contractors exploited inherent loopholes and weakness in the system and collected huge sums of money up front for jobs either poorly executed or not done at all.

Chief Alaibe who was speaking at a grand reception ceremony organized by the Movement for Peace and Development of Oil Producing State (MODOPS) in honour of members of the reconstituted Board of the NDDC at the Delta Hotels in Port Harcourt on Saturday, June 4, 2005, disclosed that all jobs awarded to contractors a now tied to banks and if any banks should pay money to a contractor for a job not properly certified done, such a bank will bear the loss, not the NDDC.

He said with the new comprehensive master plan of the NDDC now in place, there was no aspect of the development needs of the Niger Delta region the commission cannot squarely address, subject to availability of funds.
The Finance Director said NDDC inherited quite a heavy backlog of uncompleted and abandoned projects from its predecessor, OMPADEC, and there was no money initially to execute the projects.

According to him, the situation was so bad that "some friendly state governors" had to give to the commission small amount of money to enable them take off and start to do a few things.

"There was no money for up to six months, so we spent all that period planning", he said, adding, "our first challenge was to endeavour to complete all the uncompleted and abandoned project dotted everywhere, so our people can make use of them".

Chief Alaibe said that in the face of the enormous task to meet the challenge of the stakeholders in the Niger Delta and to avoid the mistake of its predecessors, the NDDC board decided to introduce what is known in banking circle as "risk mitigants" in dealing with all its contractors.

He explained that this policy ensures that "if you must have a job with NDDC it must be guaranteed by your bank; and it must be a very solid bank. You will be monitored by the bank; and it must be a very solid bank. You will be monitored by the bank; and there is a tripartite agreement between the bank, NDDC and you, the contractor so that the contractor does not go away with out money". By this process if the bank releases money to any contractor that is not commensurate with the level of work done on the ground, NDDC will get the bank to refund the excess money, since the bank "is the primary obligor of the project", Alaibe explained.

Turning to the highly sophisticated, comprehensive and expensive master plan of the commission launched some months ago, Chief Alaib asserted that "if there is anything that we can beat our chests about so far, it is the successful completion of the Niger Delta master plan, which covers almost every areas of the human and natural development, ie, infrastructural, environmental, agricultural and lots more".

Concerned about the deplorable state of infrastructure and learning environment in most schools in the Niger Delta, and disclosed that NDDC I has focused its attention on the rehabilitation and development of schools to ensure good educational opportunities for youths of the Niger Delta.

Also speaking, the Commissioner representing Bayelsa State in the NDDC Board, Dr (Mrs.) Georgiana Ngeri Nwagha said the Commission is laying emphasis on infrastructural as well as human development, and will in the next couple of months embark on what she called, "Quick Impact Project" (QIP) which entails giving the youths accelerated training in skills that can fetch them immediate gainful employment upon graduation. Mrs Ngeri-Nwagha said, for her women folk in the Niger Delta as a whole, she will ensure that women are given more than 40% of whatever development opportunitit?s NDDC can provide. She advocated involvement of women in the affairs of the nation generally.

Earlier in his address, the president of the Movement for Peace and Development of the Oil' Producing States (MODOPS) Chief Eneh Oruama had said that the organization made up of sincerely inspired and committed men and women from the nine oil-producing states in the Niger Delta, is alarmed by the abject poverty and resultant youths restiveness prevailing in the Niger Delta communities as a result of oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in the areas.

He said that realizing that without peace and justice the oil and gas producing companies and even the NDDC cannot smoothly and successfully carry out their operations in the Niger Delta, MODOPS has been advocating for mutual respect and understanding among all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.

Chief Oruama said MODOPS earnestly seeks to partner with the NDDC "to ensure a most conducive environment that will enable the commission to translate its developmental packages so highly hoped for by President Obasanjo, to the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta" and called for increased and regular funding of NDDC by the Federal Government and other relevant agencies.

The reception ceremony which was attended by some eminent personalities from the oil-producing states had the Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chief Azubuike Nmerukini as chairman, (later represented by Chief Oha Assor), first civilian governor of old Rivers State, Chief (Senator) Melford Okilo as father of the day, His Royal Majesty, King Joshua Igbugburu as royal father of the day and Chief Frank Opigo, among others.

Golden plaques were presented to the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo and Chief Timi Alaibe in appreciation of their re-appointment and, good services, while certificates were issued to all the new members of the reconstituted board.

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