18 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, has stressed the need for the Commission to get its full funding.
Ekere stated this as he also disclosed that the agency has paid over N30 billion to its contractors since the new board and management assumed duties on November 4, 2016.
Meeting with executive members of the NDDC Contractors’ Association at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, he stated that he had also given directives that all interim payment certificates below N20 million be processed for immediate payment.
Mr. Ekere disclosed that the new board met over 8,000 projects, among which were numerous abandoned projects spread across the region, as well as and a contingent liability of N1.3 trillion.
He outlined the efforts being made to tackle the funding challenge, noting that the Commission was already meeting with the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta to ascertain the exact outstanding being owed the Commission.
The NDDC boss further said that part of the reforms involved the introduction of technology to enhance the service delivery systems of the Commission.
He observed, however, that this may take some time to be fully operational and as such required some measure of understanding from the Commission’s stakeholders.
“The process of documentation has started, because we believe that things should be done right.
“We are reforming the governance systems in NDDC. By the time we are done, we will institute the governance system that we know is proper and run NDDC according to best international standards, so that when we leave, it will be impossible for any board that comes after us to reverse them.
“For the first time also, this board approached the oil companies working in the Niger Delta to involve them in the budgeting process for them to also make input, since they are working in the communities and these host communities also have needs.”
Mr. Ekere stated that Management recently set up a committee on investigative hearing to review allegations of corruption levelled against some of its staff, as part of the commitment to institute transparency and probity within the Commission.