Environmentalist in the Niger Delta, Mr. Alagoa Morris, has accused the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, of abandoning projects in Bayelsa State.
Morris, who doubles as a civil rights activist and the State Coordinator, Environmental Right Action, scored the interventionist agency low in projects delivery in the state.
The ERA Coordinator, who spoke in an interview in Yenagoa on Monday, mentioned some abandoned projects as shoreline protection in Sangana, Brass; link road in Korokorosi, Southern Ijaw and water project in Okutukutu, Yenagoa.
Other abandoned projects, according to Morris, are coastal erosion projects in Odioma, Oporoma, Koluama in Southern Ijaw; nine kilometre Opume-Okoroba NDDC Road, among others.
He said, “Initially, when they (NDDC) started, they began with classroom blocks and to provide boreholes for some communities.
“Unfortunately, even though we need those educational structures, which local governments could have done, we wanted the NDDC to handle bigger projects that will impact on the whole community and the people of the region in the areas of roads, health, link roads within communities.
“Link roads within communities will reduce transportation cost because water transportation is very expensive. In the area of health, the people deserve a better deal because oil companies operations have impacted seriously on the health of the people.
“Incidentally, we see the NDDC embarking on mobile clinics sparingly. We do not see the kind of commitment we thought would be holistic. That is why we have a lot of abandoned road projects, shoreline protection and many other projects.”
On Water project, for instance, the activist lamented that there was an ugly scenario whereby the agency mounted only water tanks, yet nobody had drank from them.
He said the developments gave the impression that contractors who carried out such projects had laughed to the bank, yet the agency had done nothing to bring such errant contractors to book.
Morris lamented, “If you go to Sangana in Akassa area of Brass LGA of Bayelsa, the community has a shoreline protection project the NDDC started some years ago and it has been abandoned. The shoreline has eaten up, people have lost their houses and the graves of their loved ones have been submerged by water.
“If you go to Korokorosie in Southern Ijaw, there is supposed to be a road linking Azuzuama, the road has been abandoned long time ago. The contract for the road was awarded, yet up till now, not even a kilometre has been done. The contractors have absconded with mobilisation fees.”
He said some of the reasons the NDDC was not living up to their mandate was allegedly because of absence of strong legal team to track and prosecute contractors that abandoned projects.
He, therefore, recommended the Federal Government to deploy the services of anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission to help the NDDC to arrest and prosecute its errant contractors.
He advocated effective collaboration among the three tiers of government to tackle the issue of coastal erosion ravaging most communities in Bayelsa, saying such menace was much bigger than what any community could handle.

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