The leader of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on NDDC Abandoned Projects in Edo State, Hon. Sergius Ogun, has expressed disappointment with the number of the commission’s abandoned projects in the state, noting that some projects awarded since 2012 cannot be accounted for anywhere in the state. Ogun, who said this when the House Ad-Hoc committee conducted on-the-spot assessment of the abandoned projects in the state in the company of Governor Godwin Obaseki, said, “It is obvious that NDDC has not partnered with the state government. We are talking about projects awarded by NDDC in 2012. Seven years after, we cannot see any visible projects. These are some of the things we will take back to Abuja.”
Governor Obaseki, on his part, demanded compensation for residents in Apostolic Street, off Sakponba Road, who were affected by flooding caused by shoddy road project executed by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contractors in the area. After inspecting the impact of the flooding on Apostolic Street caused by a sub-standard road project constructed by the NDDC, Obaseki said NDDC and the contractor responsible for project would have to compensate the victims whose properties were damaged by the flooding. He noted, “The contractor did the asphalt work on the road without taking into consideration the fact that there were manholes to channel water in the area. When the community advised the contractor not to block the manholes, he disregarded the complaints and blocked them. You can see the devastation that has caused?
“We are holding the NDDC and the contractor liable and we will take legal actions to ensure they compensate the victims affected.” When the entourage inspected the ongoing Benin-Abraka Road project, Obaseki berated the NDDC for not fulfilling its part of the tripartite agreement it entered with the Edo State Government and Edo State Oil and Gas Development Commission (EDSOPADEC) on the repair of the Benin-Abraka Road. He explained that the NDDC was supposed to contribute 40 per cent, while the state government and its agency would contribute the remaining 60 per cent to the project, but the commission reneged on the agreement.
Obaseki added that the state government had commenced work on the road, which he assured would be completed with or without NDDC’s counterpart fund, noting that NDDC is grossly mismanaged. The governor said the commission claimed it spent N20 billion on emergency projects in Edo State without paying its counterpart fund for the Benin-Abraka Road. The Edo State Director of the NDDC, Mr Gbubemi Ogor, said sanctions would be meted out to erring contractors and ensure close collaboration with the state government, adding that “just as the governor has said, there is a need for us to sit up.”