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Group takes NDDC, BCDA to National Assembly, others over communities’ capital projects

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NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere

A Nigerian-based non-governmental organisation, Connected Development (CODE), has written a petition to the National Assembly (NASS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) for withholding public information on 2017 capital projects across several communities.

CODE, which also alerted the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), through its Follow The Money Initiative, claimed that it tracked NDDC and BCDA 2017 capital projects and uncovered many red flags.

According to it, in the second and third quarters of 2017, CODE during its data mining activity observed that the NDDC and BCDA called for bids for different projects across the country inviting contractors to bid for the projects as part of their 2017 capital budgets. Deadlines for the submission of bids were April 26 and August 16, 2017 respectively.

In addition, in the calls, there were over 300 projects tender-advertised by the NDDC and 130 projects by the BCDA.

The organisation further examined the tender publications and initiated campaigns across six states, Imo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Sokoto and Abia states, through which she started tracking the implementation of some of the projects, while using them to provide oversight on a wide range of others.

These include the construction of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in Arongwa Autonomous Community in Osisioma, Abia State; Kadadin, Sokoto State; and Machina, Yobe State; as well as the construction of six blocks of classroom with solar-powered borehole in Jakusko, Jakusko Local Council of Yobe State, to be implemented by the BCDA.

Projects by the NDDC include the construction of perimeter fencing, landscaping and providing generator at Mgbele Health Centre, Oguta Local Council in Imo State; water project construction at Etok Uruk Eshiet of Akwa Ibom State; and construction of block of classrooms at Ogbomoide Primary School, Ogbomoide, Edo State.

CODE’s Follow The Money team visited the communities and informed them of the projects. While these communities were not aware, no personnel from either of the agencies were in these communities for needs assessment or informed them about the projects. In addition, implementation had not started on either of the projects, even till date.”

The group, therefore, alleged that after thorough empirical assessment of the state of the concerned facilities across the communities, Follow The Money team wrote to NDDC and BCDA on July 17, 2017 and October 16, 2017 respectively requesting for the post bid-evaluation details of the projects but they feigned ignorance of the law and refused to respond despite further requests.


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