By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has alleged that the 272 projects the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, claimed it had executed in the state, could not be found.
Okorocha stated this in Owerri, while receiving the Managing Director of the, NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Sememitari.
The governor argued that those projects could only exist on paper, adding that he was shocked to hear that 272 projects had been done in Imo by the NDDC.
He said: “I am shocked to hear that the NDDC has over 272 projects in the state on which billions of naira were also said to have been spent. I would like to have the list of the projects, the contractors handling them and where they are sited, because Imo people would also be shocked to hear this. Let us know the projects, their sites and the amounts paid on each of them.
“The truth is that these projects could exist only on papers because the popular impression here is that the NDDC abandoned the state and her people, while releasing money meant for projects in the state to some PDP elements from the state in Abuja who shared the money with the contractors.”
The governor further explained that, “the NDDC isolated the state government. At times, these wicked people behind all these fraud would ensure that both NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs would award different contracts on one particular project and at the end of the day, the job won’t be done. At times too, they would put NDDC sign board on state government project. So many funny things.”
According to him, “NDDC should not be partisan. People from the NDDC states should be provided with services required, despite their political affiliations. Frankly speaking, the state has not benefited or felt the impact of the NDDC because no visible project has been put on ground for years. At a point, I thought about pulling the state out of the NDDC and demand that the money meant for the state be remitted to her directly.
“The NDDC has remained a nightmare to Imo people. With the new MD, the state can now partner NDDC with the hope that things would begin to work out fine. And in the commission’s budget, the management should look at the areas of power and rail lines linking the NDDC states. The commission should not be constructing boreholes, renovation of schools and health centres. Let there be light at the NDDC now.”
Responding,the Managing Director of NDDC, Mrs. Ibim Sememitari said that she was in the state on official visit to acquaint the government on the commission’s activities, adding that the NDDC was ready to collaborate with the state government in the areas of their needs.