…Promises relief materials for 2million flood victims
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Interim Management Committee IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC has announced a collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Housing to halt the continued wave of contracts duplication in the Niger Delta region by various tiers of government.
Executive Director, Projects at the NDDC, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, gave the assurance Tuesday in Abuja after he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
Ojougboh said the commission decided to interface with the Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that things are done appropriately, saying since the functions of the NDDC and the Ministry of Works and Housing are intertwined, the Commission will synergize with the ministry to deliver on its mandate.
He, however, noted that one of the commission’s challenges was conflict between tiers of government with regards to contract award for road construction in parts of the country.
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“You go to some states, you find out that contracts that had been awarded by the NDDC is also awarded by the states and Local Governments. And you go to some places, you find out that the NDDC is on a road, and the Ministry of Works and Housing is also on the same road.
“We need to know where everybody is, so we don’t pay contractors twice for jobs that had been done. These are the areas where the ministry and the commission must cooperate and collaborate,” he said.
The NDDC also disclosed it resolves to provide relief materials for the over two million persons displaced by flood in the Niger Delta region.
Ojougboh noted that 280 communities in the region were completely submerged by flood, adding that the communities had nothing going on for now.
Among the most affected states in the region, he said include Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia, saying that areas below sea level in the states were mostly affected.
He said; “You know that the rains had just stopped and the flood is receding, most of the indigenes of Niger Delta are now in Internally Displaced Persons IDP Camps and will have to go back home. When they get home, they will find their homes occupied by dangerous insects and reptiles, including snakes, and their properties would have been damaged.
“So, we have to find a way of resettling them; these are the things the commission is looking at now. We are not going to stop there, we must project into the future and find out how we can stop this catastrophe from happening every year because every year, it is the same story and these are the issues in the Niger Delta”.