*Urges Eni to prevail on NAOC for quality project
Port Harcourt — Indigenes of Aggah Community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State have called on Eni, to prevail on the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, to deliver a quality project and save the community from annual flooding in the area.
The community who rejected the local firm engaged by NAOC to deflood the community, said they want reputable construction firm that can deliver on the job to stop flooding in Aggah, insisting that the local firm on site was hurriedly brought by some saboteurs to deliver a substandard project.
Aggah community, in 2017 petitioned Italian government and Eni, the parent company of NAOC, stating that Agip built its oil producing platforms on water right-of-way, thereby causing the community to experience recurrent flood since over 40years of Agip’s operation the area.
Spearheaded by a group known as Egbema Voice of Freedom, EVF, the community had pointed out that Agip’s facility blocked the channel through which water from the community empties into Oloshi River in the area.
After several litigations and dialogues in Italy, which the group won, NAOC have issued contracts for the building of 12 culverts and drainages to deflood the community and pushed the flood into the river.
But EVF Team of Engineers, on a tour of the ongoing project in the community, carried out by a local firm, Roka Universal Services Limited, expressed disappointment over what they described as substandard project being carried out by the contractor.
Lead Engineer, EVF Team of Engineers, Engr. Orji Hope Chukwudike, pointed out many errors on the ongoing projects, from specifications to substandard materials, of which the Site Supervisor, Engr. Isioma Ven, even admitted to them.
Chukwudike explaind that the quality of job on ground was not in anyway commensurate to the funds earmarked by NAOC, while wondering why NAOC failed to give the project to a competent construction firm.
“I am disappointed with the contractor, materials usrd, site engineer and prople working eith him. In a project like this, we needed certified engineers and construction company. I think their intention is to take the work for granted.”
“I wish to see the project manager because the error on ground is much. Looking at what is on ground already with substandard materials, there is a deviation in standard. They are not in line with the specifications.
“We have no confidence in what they are doing. We want credible and competent contractors. ”
Also speaking, Leader of EVF, Evaristus Nicholas, regretted that the contract to save Aggah from annual flooding was being implemented below specifications, doubting the sincerity of NAOC to carry out the project as recommended by its parent company, Eni.
Nicholas, who had been at the forefront of the struggle, explained that it will be for the benefit of the entire community, if a quality project is delivered as the issue of flooding in Aggah would be everlasting history.
He said after all the struggles in Italy, EVF had envisaged construction firms like Julius Berger who can deliver quality job to Aggah community, as there was no need for a substandard project which would wear out in a short while, thereby returning flood to the community.
“Based on the agreement we had with Eni and NAOC in Italy, we believed they should be able to choose a competent firm that can deliver a quality project.
“Based on what we are seeing, collateral damage has been done from the foundation. Now that the foundation has been compromised, what do you think will be the outcome?
EVF urged Eni to prevail on NAOC to go back to the drawing board in keeping to due diligence, for a quality project, as Aggah community needs a contractor that will do the right job, not someone who will fabricate trouble.
“I am not satisfied with what is on ground and this contractor and I do not have confidence that they will deliver a quality job. No atom of safety measure is put in place.
“What is on ground is disheartening. This contractor was hurriedly brought in connivance with the traditional ruler to deliver a standard project.
“Our position is that any contractor that can deliver on the job to stop flooding in this community is welcome.We need a contractor that will deliver quality job and not one that will cause crisis, because what they are doing here may cause problem.”
Meanwhile, the Site Supervisor for Roka Universal Services Limited, Engr. Isioma Ven, admitted to the errors in the project specification, saying that he was not around when the workers messed up the project. He, however, promised to correct the errors.