Out of the 196 projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission in Cross River State, work is yet to commence on 99 of them even as some the contracts were endorsed since 2004.
The projects which span roads, water, erosion control, housing and electricity valued at over seven billion Naira, and scattered all over the state have only seen the completion of 52, with work on 15 stalled, while 71 are yet to experience any form of work.
These startling revelations were revealed by the committee set up by the Cross River State House of Assembly to conduct an inquest into the affairs of the NDDC in the state following reports of widespread abandonment of projects by the commission in the state.
The inquest which followed a motion by Hon. Moses Uchehe representing Obanlikwu shows that of the seventy road projects awarded by the NDDC, only two have been completed while twenty one are ongoing and work is yet to start on twenty seven even as their contracts were awarded since 2004.
Crossriverwatch gathered that the Assembly Committee got the figures from the NDDC Principal Manager, Project Monitoring and Supervision, Mr. Ekpenyong Ene.
From the information obtained from Mr. Ekpeyong, the contract for the construction of twenty one classroom blocks for model secondary schools, which include offices, VIP toilets and dormitories as well as the contract for the construction of nine comprehensive health centers in the state, two university hostels for the University of Calabar and the Cross River State University of Technology staff quarters and lecture halls for the two institutions have not commenced since the contracts were signed in 2004.
Out of the nine electricity projects earmarked for the state by the Commission, only three have been completed while work on two is stalled and others are yet to see any form of commencement of work.
The committee also reported that out of the ten solar electricity projects, only one has been completed while nine are yet to see any form of work. Work on the three erosion sites in the state has also not started.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Larry Odey while commenting on the issue said the report shows the lack of seriousness by the NDDC to execute projects earmarked for the state and called on the Commission “to as a matter of urgency see to it that the projects that have been earmarked for the state for which public funds have been committed are executed to serve the people”.
The stressed the need for agencies entrusted with the task of executing projects that will serve the people to sit up. “We are not appointed to public office to serve ourselves but the people and we have to ensure that we execute projects speedily to meet the interest of the people”.
The Assembly resolved to write to the Managing Director of the NDDC to demand for explanation why the projects worth several billions of Naira were not executed several years after there were awarded.
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