15 June 2016, Port Harcourt – Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, has warned that engineers, who supervised and certify poor jobs may face criminal charges.
Semenitari said the NDDC had adopted new measures aimed at ensuring high standards in its service delivery to communities in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC acting MD issued this warning when officials of the SERVICOM office, led by the Acting National Coordinator, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli, paid her a courtesy visit at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Semenitari said that the NDDC was working with the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria to produce a standardisation manual, which would enhance service delivery to the people of the region.
According to her, the standardisation manual will be binding on its engineers when it becomes operational.
She said, “If jobs don’t meet the NDDC standard, all the engineers who certified the jobs will not only face professional sanctions, but will face administrative disciplinary measures. In some instances, they might even face criminal charges.”
Semenitari explained that the commission recognised the critical need for effective service delivery, adding that this was why the commission had forwarded a memorandum to President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting the upgrading of SERVICOM in NDDC to a full directorate.
“We feel that the SERVICOM directorate is the policeman of the organisation, the one that should insist on the right standards. It is this directorate that we believe will drive the efficiency of the NDDC and we hope it will make everyone accountable from the managing director to the least staff.”
“It is important that we strengthen the directorate to be able to carry out the SERVICOM functions. One of the things we are trying to do to improve standard is to ensure that our reporting is transparent.
“And to that end, we have, in compliance with the law setting up the commission, produced our first quarter report. We intend to upload the report on the commission’s website soon.
“We will put it up so that people will know what we are doing, and demand greater service,” she added.
Earlier, the Acting National Coordinator of SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli, said delivering public service had been a challenging task to successive governments, especially those in developing economies.
She said that it was common to find citizens decrying the deplorable state of public utilities, amenities and services that had been allowed to degenerate into a state of comma.
According to her, most of the public service facilities were often privatised, thus making their affordability out of the reach of the common citizens.
Mrs Akajemeli, stated that progressive-minded public administrators had come to understand that the challenge of service was to ensure that institutions remained accountable to the people, including the poorest and most vulnerable.