Nigerian govt okays N16bn for NDDC headquarters

Nigerian govt okays N16bn for NDDC headquarters
December 13 23:23 2017

By Ahmed Idris 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N16 billion for the construction of the headquarters of Niger Deltal Development Commission (NDDC).

This was disclosed by the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Usani Usani, at the end of the council’s meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said the headquarters, to be located in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, has a completion period of 52 weeks.

The minister also told journalists that the East-West road project in the Niger Delta region was “designed to fail,” but that the present administration was trying to revive it.

He said the present administration has made significant progress in the past two years to correct the fundamental errors in the design of the East-West road, for which over N30 billion would be needed to complete.

“The East West road is a project that has been messed up from inception, naturally designed to fail by all the agreements and designed concepts that we have seen.

And here we are making sure that we put things in order so that we can see the terminal point of that project.

“If the project started more than a decade ago and in 24 months we have made the progress we have made on that project, correcting even the construction deficits in the area, then I think you should be able to appreciate what we are doing. When you talk of N16 billion as if it is so relevant in completing the East West road, I wish to tell you that the outstanding certificate on the East West road amount to N30 billion.

“So if we put N16 billion there, in fact one and the other are not substitutes. Two of them are essential infrastructure projects that must go on, so it doesn’t mean that if we put that money on the East West road then it satisfies the needs of housing the NDDC,” he said.

The minister said the Niger Delta region has a prime position in the present administration’s development preference, stressing that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would receive between 30 and 40 names of companies who failed to execute NDDC projects for prosecution.

“Right now, I have gotten some of these contracts and I’m sending them to the EFCC, not just for the East West road. I have got a minimum of 30 to 40 contractors that I am sending to EFCC.

“On the East West road, I have taken a private consultant to review the whole cost, so some contractors will obviously refund money for which the present cost will be discounted. So, when you see contractors ganging up and publishing things against me, you should know the foundation. But as far as I am here, I will do something that I feel is right,” he said.