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Cross River threatens to sue NDDC over projects, others


•CSO asks commission to name erring contractors
The Cross River government is contemplating suing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over its activities in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on NDDC Affairs, Victor Ekpo, in a chat with The Guardian in Calabar, said: “We are contemplating seeking a legal action against NDDC on its activities in Cross River State. Last three months, Bayelsa State went and locked their office, in Rivers, they are in Federal High Court because of fraud.

“In Cross River, we do not even know what is going on. I have written to the managing director and the chairman to give me a comprehensive report or inventory of what they are doing in the state, the emergency repairs they claim they are carrying out here and others. Let me know and check so that I can tell the people this is what is going on in NDDC. So, we are suing the agency when the courts resume from break.”

Ekpo, whose office was created by the current administration to monitor NDDC projects in the state, stated: “The huge level of fraud in the commission is alarming. I know very well that such cannot just happen. It started over time and I am not putting it on this present commission because the 2015/2016 budget was handled by the former board.

“The only fear I am having is that this present board had gone to the media calling for invitation for tender which people from Cross River and other states presented their bank drafts only for them (people from Cross River) to come and start reporting to me that they have not got the tender document up till date.”

In a related development, the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the commission to publish the names of contractors who were allegedly mobilised but failed to execute projects.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Rev. David Ugolor, the civil society organisation (CSO), however, saluted the agency for revoking 600 contracts worth N200 billion.

Ugolor said his organisation was delighted with the initial outcome of the presentation of its Citizens Report Card (CRC) to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo when he visited Benin City on a fact-finding mission in March this year.

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