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Jonathan Promises To Cleanse NDDC Of Corruption

Jonathan Promises To Cleanse NDDC Of Corruption

President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday said that the administration would end corruption, ensure probity and accountability in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Jonathan made the promise when he received the report of the Presidential Monitoring Committee on the NDDC submitted at the State House by the Chairman, Chief Isaac Jemide.

The report indicated that the NDDC abandoned many projects and engaged in unjustifiable astronomical variation of contract sums.

The reports, which monitored projects awarded in Cross Rivers, Edo and Rivers between 2005 and 2011, accused the commission of engaging incompetent contractors, approval and execution of projects outside its statutory operational scope and cover up, among others.

Jonathan said: “the report is very comprehensive, we have to thank you and we will look into it and make sure things are correctly done for the future of the Niger Delta.

“The NDDC was set up because of the militancy in the Niger Delta. Youths in the area feel aggrieved on developmental issues.

“That means that the NDDC must be properly focused to address these issues and there must be efficient management of fund and resources.

“If it is not done that way, then of course, the purpose of setting up the NDDC will not be realised.

“Government will look into some of these issues raised and look at what led to the abandonment of projects and the failure in completing some of the projects.

“We will look at the issues of variations and will find out whether those variations are done in line with the laws because there are procurement laws that guide any variation.

“We will also look at the issue of renovation of Port Harcourt Club because it is privately owned but renovated by the NDDC. We will find out why that was done,’’ he said.

The president tasked the committee to ensure that the report for 2012 was ready and submitted in two months.

On his part, Jemide said that the committee inspected and evaluated 609 projects spread across the three states.

According to him, 222 (36.5 per cent ) were completed, 102 (16.7 per cent) were ongoing and 285 (46.8 per cent) were abandoned at various levels of execution.

He said the monitoring of 1,510 projects for 2005-2011 in the remaining six NNDC states had been completed and the reports being compiled.

The committee accused the NDDC of complicity in the abandoned projects and not recovering the funds by using EFCC and ICPC. It indicted NDDC for its failure to complete all civic centre projects and all shoreline protection projects over an operational period of 12 years.

The NNDC was indicted for failure to complete universities hostel projects over an operational period of 10 years.

It said that most water projects embarked upon by the commission were non-functional, and added that the Federal Government allocated billions of naira to the projects.

It observed the “unjustifiable introduction of astronomical variations on the contracts sums of most projects awarded by the NDDC over short periods of time.

“Some of these variations are effected prior to project commencement,’’ Jemide said.

The report accused the NNDC management of non-cooperative attitude by refusing to provide records of some critical financial transactions.

“In view of the negative weight of the above issues on the overall development of the Niger Delta region, the presidential monitoring committee shall appreciate Mr President’s intervention,’’ Jemide said.

He thanked the president for the opportunity given to members of the committee to serve the nation.

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