From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), an NGO, has urged the Federal Government to immediately investigate arrest and prosecute all persons including staff, contractors and companies involved in the mismanagement of over N6 trillion of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group said if the government adopt this, it would deter others as well as help position public offices for efficiency and effectiveness.
Addressing journalists in Asaba, the Project Officer of the group, Isaac Botti, condemned the monumental corruption in NDDC.
Botti said his group has tracked and faulted 29 abandoned projects by the Commission in 14, out of the 25 local government areas of Delta State between 2020 and 2022
He named the projects to include, the N2,744,098,678 construction of Oviri Court Junction by Effurun-Sapele road to Oba Junction by Effurun- Eku road at Oviri Court-Oha, Okpe with actual amount of N98,000,000 and 3.9 per cent budgetary provision; the N250,000,000 installation of Solar-Power Streetlight in Gbokoda Community in the riverine Warri North Local Government; and the N1 billion construction of School of Medical Sciences at Western Delta University in Oghara with actual amount approved of N104,274,164.38.
Others are, the N200 million Furniture Laboratory Equipment and Computers at the Delta State University, Oleh Campus in Isoko with actual amount approved of N20 million; the N250 million construction of access roads from Itsekiri Community Town Hall to Angle Park in Warri South council area; and the N250 million construction of old Eku road with a spur to Catholic Church, Oviori Eku in Ethiope East council area.
He said the N500 million reclamation of Orugbo Waterfront from Gray to Orugbo Town with actual amount approval of N53,900,000 and 20 others, were abandoned and scattered across the state.
Botti lamented that the Commission had deliberately been duplicating projects in schools, hospitals and road construction and thereby involved in a collision course with state governments.
‘The people that these projects were designed for are suffering and abandoned in gross degradation and left to die economic quagmire.
‘No evidence of projects implementation because the people are not aware that billions of naira were voted for them but were stolen,’ he said.
According to him, there was a huge disparity between the amount budgeted for projects and the eventual amount approved for execution, adding that the projects with the highest approved sum all got 40 per cent of the original budget and the average approved amount stood at 15 per cent.
He expressed sadness that benefitting communities were kept in total darkness in the affairs of NDDC and therefore pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to enforce the outcome of the forensic investigation for those indicted to face the music.