By Chancel Sunday
BOMADI–EXPECTATION that the speedy completion of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC-sponsored ultra-modern motor park/market in the riverside town of Bomadi in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State would boost commerce in the riverine settlement, is gradually giving way to despair.
The project, which was completed two years ago, is currently under lock and key following alleged disagreement between the contractor and the Federal Government intervention agency.
Niger Delta-Voice learned that traders operating at the old market were displaced upon the commencement of work in October 2014 when the contractors mobilised to site.
The job was, however, completed 15 months after, precisely on 6th January, 2016, a development that heightened hope in the area that it would be immediately inaugurated and put to use given the strategic location of the area as gateway to several riverine communities in Delta State.
Traders exposed to danger
It was gathered that the community had made several entreaties to the NDDC to commission the sprawling edifice for business activities with a view to saving its people from the risk associated with trading on the usually busy Bomadi bridge head to no avail.
This reporter who went to town to ascertain the rationale behind the continued delay in the inauguration of the project learned from a dependable source that the delay is caused by disagreement over the contractual payment.
According to the source, some officials of the NDDC had demanded a large percentage of the contract sum before payment would be effected.
The source said, “the percentage demanded was so high that the contractors declined, but on a second thought, they offered a lesser percentage which the NDDC officers also refused to accept.
But this claim was dismissed by an official of the commission saying: “I am not aware of this.”
Community pleads for management intervention
However, the indigenes of the community have again called on the management of the NDDC to consider the dangers faced by traders selling their wares around the Bomadi bridge head, pleading with them to as a matter of urgency, inaugurate the project.
The community leadership, through its vice-chairman, Senator Ebikeme, said: “We have been patient enough; the commissioning of this project is long overdue. We may have to carry out a protest to NDDC for them to tell us why this project, completed two years ago, is still under lock.
“This is one of the best projects in this area, and we call on NDDC to come and open this place for our businesswomen and men to enable them access the market for their business activities.”