20 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has charged the Commission to commit 30 percent of its funds to new projects while dedicating 50 percent for the completion of existing projects.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon Nicholas Mutu, gave the charge when he led members of the committee on oversight visit to inspect project sites, look at the records of the commission and evaluate its performance at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Mutu called for an urgent review and implementation of the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan.
He directed NDDC to commence the immediate audit of performing and non-performing projects, to address the challenge of high rate of project abandonment across the the Niger Delta, which according to him was put at over 3,000.
The committee chairman advised the commission to set up a mechanism to leverage resources outside the statutory sources of funds by working out partnerships and joint venture arrangements.
He said: “Commit 50 percent of your funds to completing existing projects while devoting 30 percent to new projects, other available funds should be used to pay contractors with outstanding Interim Payment Certificates to facilitate the completion of existing projects.
“This is with a view to determine non-performing contracts and give impetus to NDDC to put in place a mechanism that will help it to mitigate the abandoned project syndrome currently bedevilling the region.
“Going forward, the NDDC should award contracts to only contractors with capacity and focus more on completing on-going projects as an additional measure to mitigate contract failure and enhance value added service to the Niger Delta region.
“The commission should undertake this review by facilitating the process and allowing other stakeholders to take leadership in determining the content and objectives of the master plan. This will engender ownership by the people and institutions of the region to ensure that it will be acceptable and widely implemented by the states, local governments, oil companies, private sector and civil society organisations, as well as other development partners working in the Niger Delta.”
The House of Representatives Committee also appealed to the Federal Government to pay all outstanding funds to the commission within a reasonable time.