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NDDC, community on war path

BENIN—CRISIS is brewing between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and oil- rich Oben community over the execution of the N3billion contract for the construction of Oben/Umoghun-Nokhua road at Orhionmwon local government area of Edo State.

The community is worried that the contractor to whom the project was awarded, Askay Construction Company, is yet to appear at site.

Vanguard learnt that natives of the community became more curious after they failed to locate the contractor at its stated address in Port Harcourt.

It would be recalled that some members of the community had earlier expressed fears over the award of the contract to a non-indigenous contractor by the NDDC, and urged the commission to re-award the contract to a local contractor who they could easily hold liable in the event of non- performance.

However, in a communiqué signed by the leader of the community and former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Edo State, Comrade Godwin Erhahon, the community expressed its gratitude to NDDC for awarding the contract for the construction of the road, which was abandoned by the defunct OMPADEC about eighteen years ago.

It noted that they were not opposed to the award of the contract to Askay Construction Company Limited as some members of the community had alleged, but that the interest of the stakeholders was that the contract be executed fast and thoroughly.

“We, therefore, urge NDDC to prove wrong those who claim that Askay Construction is a ghost company by ensuring that the company commences work urgently.

“Tension is rising already in the community as Askay cannot be found at its state address in Port Harcourt.  NDDC should discountenance any attempt to associate the Benin monarch with agitation for a change of the contractor for the project.

“We have confirmed that the chiefs who went to misinform the NDDC that the Oba wanted the contract cancelled and re-awarded to his subject were not mandated by the Oba,” the community stated.


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