The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated a
50-member Contracts’ Verification Committee to confirm and document
projects and contracts in the nine Niger Delta states, as part of the
process to redirect the Commission’s activities.
Inaugurating the committee at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt,
the Acting Managing Director, Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh, said the exercise
was a prelude to the forensic audit of the Commission ordered by
President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nunieh stated that the verification was necessary because there were so
many fake Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, being claimed by NDDC
contractors. “Members of the committee will go round all the NDDC
mandate states to verify these projects and contracts,” she said.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer noted that the committee’s assignment,
which would last for two weeks, was the first stage in the redirection
exercise at the interventionist agency.
She said: “After the initial documentation and verification, we will go
out to all the states to identify and inspect the projects. We will work
with professional groups, such as architects, engineers and quantity
surveyors to ensure that the projects were done to acceptable standards
for the benefit our communities.
“We have selected credible people from the Commission to carry out this
important assignment and we expect them to be steadfast and resist all
manners of external influences from those who may be claiming to have
connections in high places.”
Nunieh said that the NDDC had records of all the contracts that had been
awarded by the Commission and as such, anyone coming with a fake IPC
would be arrested by the security agencies.
She advised Nigerians not to buy IPCs and contracts purported to emanate
from NDDC, noting: “We are aware that some people are still signing and
awarding contracts from hotel rooms. Unfortunately for them, we have a
comprehensive list of all our contracts. If you come with fake IPC, you
will be promptly arrested.”
The NDDC boss observed that some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs,
which were not supposed to be profit making, became contractors,
contrary to the law regulating their activities. She said: “We will
invite the NGOs to come for verification so that they can explain why
they were involve in profit making contracts. When you claim that NDDC
owes you, you will also know that he who goes to equity must come with
Nunieh thanked the governors of the NDDC mandate states that had set up
committees to investigate the jobs done by the Commission’s contractors
in the various states, following the list of contracts given to them.
She urged them to help to fish out dubious contractors claiming to have
executed jobs that exist only on paper.
She assured all contractors that did their jobs according to
specifications that they would be paid after the verification exercise,
adding: “We have started paying consultants and suppliers that have
indeed done their jobs well. They will be paid without having to bribe
anyone. You don’t need to pay gratification to get your bills paid in
the new NDDC.”
The Chairman of the Verification Committee and the Executive Director
Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, thanked the NDDC boss for giving them the
opportunity to serve. He assured that they would approach the assignment
with diligence and thoroughness.
He remarked: “You have made it clear that the revalidation exercise is
free. No contractor shall be asked to pay money and nobody should make
any demands from the contractors.”
He assured members of the committee that the NDDC would do all that was
necessary to guarantee their security and give them adequate protection
to do their job without let or hindrance.
Ojougboh stated: “The Commission will do its best to ensure that you are
not intimidated or harassed. So, you should not succumb to any
The committee has the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring and
Supervision, Engr. Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, as Deputy Chairman and
the Director, Community and Rural Development, Mrs. Iyingi Numbere, as