Home News New NDDC boss insists on quality, value for money

New NDDC boss insists on quality, value for money

by Our Reporter

Contractors working on projects for the Niger Delta Development
Commission, NDDC, have been charged to ensure that they delivered quality
jobs that would also give value for the money spent on them.

This directive was given by the new Acting Managing Director/CEO of the
commission, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, as she inspected 9 different projects in
Rivers State on Wednesday.

The new boss, who assumed duties at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt
on Tuesday, visited project sites in the company of several directors of
the commission.

The first project visited by the NDDC team was the 522 bed-space prototype
hostel at the University of Port Harcourt, where the contractor was not on
site to answer questions on the status of the project which was supposed
to have been completed several years ago.

The Acting MD expressed disappointment with the quality of the finishing
of the hostel and regretted that the contractor had delayed the completion
of the project, in spite of having been paid N1.24 billion, representing
over 90% of the total contract sum.

Mrs. Semenitari directed the contractor to come to the NDDC to explain
himself. “I need to see him urgently before we can take a decision. He has
indeed robbed the people of the Niger Delta with the quality of job that I
have seen. Some of the fittings like the wardrobe doors are not even good
for a secondary school hostel,” she said.

The NDDC boss assured a group of UNIPORT students, who had come to the
project site to show solidarity, that the hostel would be completed as
quickly as possible.

She said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to see that the NDDC
fulfills its mandate to the people. He has charged us to complete all
on-going projects and this one must be completed soon. The contractor has
been paid over 90%, so he has no reason not to deliver on the project.
Change has come to Nigeria, so we must insist on getting value for money
spent on the project.”

One of the UNIPORT student leaders, Comrade Alex Mbadike, thanked the new
MD for making the university hostel her first port of call after assuming
duties. He said that the students had previously led a protest to the NDDC
headquarters over the poor state of the project. “We believe in your
doggedness and we are hopeful that this inspection will help to accelerate
the pace of work and the completion of the project,” he said.

At the site of the Niger Delta Regional Specialist Hospital (orthopaedic
and cardiovascular), the NDDC team was greeted with a more encouraging
performance by the contractors. The Acting MD said she was impressed with
the quality of work done so far and the appreciable progress made on the
two hospitals. She said: “This is a great project because it is meant to
save lives.”

The NDDC officials also inspected the 6.1-kilometre
Igbiniri-Abibo-Oba-Okujagu-Okuru link road with 4 bridges in Okrika Local
Government Area. Briefing the Acting MD on the project, Engr. Anabraba
Opuwari, the consultant, said work was stalled because of non approval of
the work schedule. He, however, promised to submit it for approval by the
NDDC before the end of the year.

The next stop for the team was the Okrika-Borikiri road with bridges at
Kolabi, Abotoru and Okpoka creeks. The contractor was not on site to
explain why there was no equipment on ground. Another project inspected
at Okrika was the shore-protection/reclamation project where dredging was
in progress.

The NDDC boss further inspected the Nigerian Police barracks being built
for the Special Protection Unit, base 6 at Omagwa in the outskirts of Port
Harcourt. The complex contains an administrative building and 6 blocks of
residential quarters. Similarly, the completed two-storey building
containing 6 units of 3-bedroom flats for senior police officers at Police
Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, was inspected by the NDDC officials.

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