Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has accused the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, of fraudulently short-changing Imo State and her people in the projects allocation and implementation.
The Governor, who spoke when the new Managing Director of the commission, Mrs. Ibim Sememitari, paid him courtesy call yesterday in Owerri while on a two-day working visit to the state, noted that he was shocked to hear that billions of naira had been sent on the claimed 272 projects in the state which are nowhere to be seen.
He regretted that the NDDC that was established to serve member states was turned into ATM for some PDP parliamentarians and bigwigs from the state during the past years.
His words, “I am shocked to hear that the NDDC has over 272 Projects in the state for which billions of naira were also said to have been spent on. I would like to have the list of the projects, the contractors handling them and where they are sited, because Imo people would also be shocked to hear this. Let us know the projects, their sites and the amounts paid on each of them.
“The truth is that these projects could exist only on papers because the popular impression here is that the NDDC abandoned the state and her people, while releasing money meant for projects in the state to some PDP elements from the state in Abuja who shared the money with the contractors.”
“The NDDC isolated the state government. At times these wicked people behind all these fraud would ensure that both NDDC and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs would award different contracts on one particular project and at the end of the day the job won’t be done. At times they put NDDC sign board on state government project.”
“NDDC should not be partisan. People from the NDDC states should be provided with services required, despite their political affiliations. Frankly speaking, the state has not benefited or felt the impacts of NDDC because no visible project has been put on ground for years. At a point, I thought about pulling the state out of the NDDC and demand that the money meant for the state should be remitted to her directly.”
The Governor noted that the NDDC has remained a nightmare to Imo people but observed that with the new MD, the state can now partner NDDC with the hope that things would begin to work out fine.
He charged the new NDDC management to look at the Commission’s budget in the areas of power and rail lines linking the NDDC states pointing out that the commission should not be constructing boreholes, renovation of schools and health centres etc.
He described the NDDC as an abode of corruption before now, and expressed the confidence that the new MD has all it takes to correct the plunders of the past administration, requesting that contract papers given to contractors should be copied to the government henceforth, to enable the government monitor the project effectively.
Earlier in her speech, Mrs. Sememitari told Governor Okorocha that she was in the state to brief the governor on the activities of the Commission in the state, adding that Imo State is the first state she would be making such visit, and said the Commission has executed 272 projects in the state since inception going by the record available to her.
She said that the Commission would partner the state government especially on the issue of identifying areas where the state is in dire need of certain projects to avoid duplications, commending the governor for his giant strides in the state.

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