Contractors have blamed the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for the abandoned projects littering the Niger Delta region over the years.
The contractors who spoke separately at a public hearing on Monday, September 23, 2019, organised by an Adhoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to investigate cases of abandoned projects awarded by the NDDC over the years.
They were invited to testify and make submissions on contracts details by the Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP Delta) led Adhoc Committee on failed contracts and abandoned projects awarded by the commission since the year 2000.
The contractors who were given various contracts by the commission across the region expressed disappointment on how contracts were being arbitrarily awarded and the refusal of the commission to pay for contracts being executed.
Speaking separately, the contractors alleged that so many shady deals are being perpetrated in the NDDC especially in the awards of contracts which had been a big challenge to contractors over the years.
They also made allegations about an active connivance between banks and some elements in the NDDC including some engineers and top management staff to bargain for cuts from contractors.
One of the contractors, Fubara Blessing challenged members of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee to beam their search light on NDDC activities to ascertain the level of sleaze and compromises which is stalling contracts execution in the Niger Delta.
He lamented that the commission has allegedly developed a habit of awarding dubious emergency, unaudited contracts to extort money from contractors while ongoing budgeted projects are abandoned due to lack of funding.
Blessing also revealed that banks have also allegedly been involved in the abuse of due process in the NDDC which complicated the issue of access to finance and non release of funds to contractors.
Other contractors who spoke during the public hearing blamed administrative bottlenecks, kickbacks and other issues as the major problem facing NDDC contractors.
They called on members of the committee to ensure transparency and accountability in the awards of contracts by the NDDC through a strong Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism.
Also speaking, chairman of the committee, Ossai Nicholas Ossai promised that the committee will be diligent in its assignment and will incorporate the concerns of the contractors and forward their report for necessary action.
He disclosed that contractors who came to the hearing without documents to back up their claims should prepare to appear at the next hearing on Wednesday when the NDDC management will appear to make their submissions on the abandoned projects in the region.
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