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New NDDC board inherits N1.3tr liabilities


NDDC managing director, Mr. Nsima Ekere

The new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said it inherited a contingent liability of N1.3 trillion and 8,000 projects spread across the nine states of the region.

NDDC managing director, Mr. Nsima Ekere had bemoaned militants’ disruption of a sitting of an investigative panel set up to probe allegations of contract racketeering leveled against the commission by some contractors.

Ekere stated this during a meeting with executive members of the NDDC Contractors’ Association (NCA) at its headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.He explained that despite inheriting numerous abandoned projects spread across the region and a contingent liability of N1.3 trillion, the new board has paid over N30 billion to its contractors since it assumed duties on November 4, 2016. It also gave directives that all interim payment certificates below N20 million be processed for immediate payment.

He stressed the need for the commission to get its full funding as provided for in the NDDC Act to carry out its mandate. Highlighting the efforts being made to tackle the funding challenge, he noted that the commission was already meeting with the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta to ascertain the exact outstanding being owed the Commission.

He said that the new Governing Board and management of the NDDC were prepared for the task of developing the Niger Delta having used the four months preceding its inauguration to work out new strategies for development programmes anchored on the 4-R initiatives.

“We were nominated in July and then resumed on November 4, 2016. So, the four months of waiting gave us one advantage that this board and management have over any other board.

Those four months gave us the opportunity to properly analyse the challenges and issues and then instituted the reforms that we have been trying to implement.

“We enunciated the 4-Rs strategy; to restore the commission’s core mandate, to restructure the balance sheet, to reform the governance systems and to reaffirm a commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times,” he said.

President of the association, Mr. Joe Adia, pointed out their contributions in advocating for the release of the outstanding funds owed the NDDC by the Federal Government and pledged to work with the commission.

He called on the NDDC management to see the association as their partner in progress, noting that the commission has a lot to gain from working closely with its members.

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