The Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh, has given an insight into how greedy contractors almost bled the agency to death.
Reviewing the just-concluded contracts’ verification exercise of the NDDC ahead of the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nunieh alleged a large scale award of contracts to unregistered companies.
“The just-concluded verification exercise has been an eye opener for us. We owe Nigerians, especially Mr. President, a duty to give full details of what came out of the contracts’ verification.
“The report will show Nigerians that we are truly determined to refocus NDDC to properly develop the Niger Delta region,” she said in Port Harcourt.
“A lot has been revealed as a result of the verification exercise.
Some contract award letters were found to be fake and some of the companies were not registered. Some were registered after they had been given the contracts.
“Some of the companies do not have the requirements prescribed in the Public Procurement Act to handle such projects.
“We also found that some individuals have 50 to 100 different award letters under different names.
“Only a few executives of the companies showed up for the verification exercise.
“Contractors and consultants that failed to show up for the verification exercise should not expect the commission (NDDC) to visit their sites for project assessment.”
Nunieh inaugurated two new committees for contract documentation and project assessment as a follow up to the work of the contracts’
The acting managing director stated that the committees would start work next week, even as the commission prepares to defend its budget before the Senate on Wednesday.
She said that the contract documentation committee headed by NDDC’s Director, Planning Research and Statistics/Management Information Systems, Dr. Linus Ogbalubi, would authenticate all the documents submitted by contractors and consultants, while the project assessment committee, headed by the commission’s Director, Project Monitoring and Supervision, Dr. .Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, would visit the various sites to verify contractors’ claims.
Nunieh said: “From next week, the project assessment committee will begin to visit project sites to check the veracity of the claims of the contractors and consultants.