We can’t make headway with 9000 projects at hand — Ifovwodo
By Egufe Yafugborhi, Warri
OGAGA Ifovwodo, the commissioner representing Delta state on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says the commission cannot deliver on its core transformation mandate with a bloated 9000 ongoing projects sucking its limited funds.
Ifowvodo who made the observation yesterday after monitoring major ongoing NDDC projects in parts of Delta state, revealed that already, the current board of the commission has cancelled N200B worth of projects at zero completion rate and of minimal value to the mandate of the commission.
He said, “The next Phase will be to wipe off such low value projects at 0-5% completion and we will keep going until we have rid our books of these projects that are of no value anymore and just dragging us down. NDDC has been saddled with too many projects.
“We are carrying too heavy a load to be able to pay attention to high impact projects. When you have a docket full of about 9000, a whole lot of those fractioned in 1.5, 2 or 3km roads, they end up sucking resources, and most of the time they are abandoned.
“It means monies put into them are stuck there and we are not able to get good value for our money. So the audit we are doing is to ensure we give priority to projects with the highest impact and enhance the delivery on the mandate of the NDDC for the region.”
Over the projects he monitored, the Delta state NDDC commissioner expressed frustrations on the abandonment of an expansive hostel contract at the Delta State University Abraka, where he served the contractor notice of probable revocation as he was not being owed.
Ifovwodo, however, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work on the Koko-Ogheye-Escravos 15.5km Phase II of the Delta-Ekpe (Lagos) Road project which realisation, he noted, “would open up the NDDC region’s economy and robustly demonstrate the core mandate of the commission.”
Other projects he monitored include Umeh Township Roads in Isoko South local government area, Abbi-Emu Unor Road, Ndokwa West council area and a dragging shoreline protection project at Koko, Warri North council headquarters.