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Only verified NDDC projects to get payments, Pondei maintains

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Amid discovery of some spurious contracts, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, has declared that only verified projects would be paid for.

He also assured marginalised oil-producing communities of equal attention opportunities henceforth.

Pondei spoke yesterday when a delegation from Ogboin-Ebe Unity Forum in Bayelsa and Delta states, led by their president, Ambaiowe Betebekurogha, paid him a courtesy visit at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.

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He said: “We are aware that a lot of contractors are being owed for work done. Verification is ongoing. The Acting Executive Director, Projects just returned from sites’ assessment. When the budget is passed, we will start to pay those that deserve to be paid. We are going to attend to only those jobs that have been duly verified and found to have met specifications because the days of cheating our people are gone. Any contractor who has not completed his project will not be paid.

Pondei disclosed that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) had discovered some “ghost jobs”, stating that others that were on ground did not meet the specifications of the interventionist agency.

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“I know that Amassoma has quite a number of jobs. I can assure you that some of them are receiving attention. I am aware that other communities have projects as well. I can assure you that we will give equal attention not just to the Ogbein-Ebe community but to the entire Niger Delta region,” he promised.

The NDDC boss pledged that efforts were being made to right the wrongs of the past

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“The IMC, is here to reposition the NDDC and also to bring development to the Niger Delta region. When we came, we met a lot of obstacles. We do not also know how long we are going to spend here, but for the time we are here, we will do everything within our power and with the resources available, to change the narrative of the Niger Delta region,” Pondei pledged.

He expressed optimism that with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, his management would be able to achieve a lot of things.

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Leader of the delegation, Betebekuiogha, said their visit was to solidarise with Pondei and the IMC.

“We have come to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing one of our worthy sons from Ogbein-Ebe to be Acting MD/CEO of NDDC and we assure him as we know that he is capable, because he is an achiever,” he asserted.

Betebekuiogha added: “He is hard-working, he is result-oriented and also very experienced, having served in several positions successfully. We believe he will deliver, he is going to perform excellently, we want to encourage the Interim Management Committee to be galvanised and work together as a team. We also pray for peace, productivity, unity and even development of the Niger Delta region.”

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