Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Enyia Akwagaga, on Wednesday said threats by contractors of non-performing projects, against top officials of the commission was largely responsible for their inability to cancel non-performing contracts awarded by the agency
The NDDC boss stated this in Abuja when she appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee probing abandoned projects by interventionist agency.
Akwagaga, who was responding to queries by lawmakers on the plethora of uncompleted NDDC projects, said contractors were always threatening top officials of the agency, whenever there were moves to terminate non-performing contracts.
The NDDC boss said: “There have always been subtle and open threats to NDDC top officials in recent past, whenever intention to bring erring contractors to book was declared.”
However, she explained that, a total of 9,820 contracts had been awarded from the inception of the intervention agency to date.
According to her, 4,288 of the projects had been completed, while 2, 645 projects were ongoing and another 1,796 not yet started.
Akwagaga added that 342 projects had been stalled, 30 taken over, 449 cancelled and terminated even as 660 were newly awarded.
The NDDC boss lamented that the commission had been underfunded over the years and appealed to the House to assist the agency recover all payments due to it from the Federal government and oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region.
She started that out of N2.832 trillion budgeted for the agency from 2008 to 2018, only N1.848 trillion was released with N983billion outstanding.
According to her, there was also another N1,374trillion outstanding gap based on amounts payable according to NDDC act, while N60.213billion was the unremitted funds due to NDDC through the Ecological Fund.