• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Abandoned NDDC projects litter in A/Ibom State

Over N15bn for 115 NDDC projects missing – report

Communities in Akwa Ibom State are littered with abandoned projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), some of them spanning over 15 years.

The communities submitted that the intended positive impacts of the NDDC have not been felt in the state. The trend has denied the oil-rich region and the people better standard of living, and the benefits that should accrue to them.

For instance, a comprehensive water project in Nduo Ndu Okon Eket in Eket local area awarded in 2017 by the NDDC to provide potable water for the people is far from being completed, leaving the community at the mercy of water-borne diseases and other health hazards. According to the residents, the sign post bearing the contractor’s details on site has been removed by the contractors so they could not be traced.

In Usung Udo Odueyang, Eket local government area, the non-completion of a two-kilometre road connecting Nduo Ndo one and two villages awarded in 2014 has become a nightmare to the dwellers in these villages, as the areas are often flooded whenever it rains while the road remains impassable.

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Also several road projects, including Friday Tom Inyang, lkot Ibiok Afaha Atai, Ikot Udofa Roads as well as remedial works on the failed section of Helen Esuene Mkpok Way in Ikot Udoma and Afa Idung Inyang Usoekong communities in Eket, are all in a sordid state following their none completion.

Ita Udoh, a community leader blamed the abandoned projects and the alleged poor performance of the NDDC on the lack of supervision, commitment and synergy with various state governments across the Niger Delta region.

He called for a complete overhauling of the NDDC through the ongoing forensic audit for the wellbeing of the region.

At Ikot Itak in Ibeno local government area, the hope of commuting on a good road has been dashed as the Inua Eyet Ikot-Itak Ukpa Okposo Road has been completed after four years after commencement of work.

Awarded in 2016 the road project was meant to link over 20 riverine communities in Ibeno, host community to ExxonMobil, a major oil-producing firm. In Oron local government area, a number of abandoned NDDC projects littered various communities. They include Mary Hanney Road and Oron Jetty Road.

A community leader, Essien Effiong said the contractor has been using ‘off and on’ approach leaving some stretch of the road uncompleted.

Also, residents of Enwang, headquarters of Mbo local government alleged abandonment of several projects in their communities after the contractors had collected mobilisation fees. Some of the projects have to do with roads, jetties and schools.

According to George Antai, a community leader, Enwang community is littered with so many abandoned projects by the intervention agency. He said “it is appalling that some of the contractors abandoned the projects after collecting mobilisation fees.

“We appeal to the NDDC to order the contractors back to sites to complete these projects,” he said.