Senate committee on Niger-Delta Affairs has disclosed that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded a 1.5 km road for N24O million.
The single-lane road project, which was done at Ohanso community, in Aba, the Abia state capital, was allegedly awarded by NDDC since 2012 and abandoned, even when it had been fully paid for.
Under the circumstance, it has demanded that the commission explains why the contract was awarded at such a huge cost and fully paid for.
Speaking during the committee’s visit, as part of its ongoing over-sight function to NDDC projects in the Niger Delta last week, head of the committee Peter Nwaoboshi, decried the development, declaring that officials of the commission and all those involved in the shoddy deal must be brought to book.
The chairman showed anger that the project was not only listed among the commission’s uncompleted projects in the state, but was not captured among the projects to be inspected by the committee.
The committee was on its way to inspect some projects in the state, when the chairman stopped the convoy to inspect the single-lane road project, having sighted NDDC’s signpost indicating that the project was its own.
Nwaoboshi said, “he had merely stopped to inspect the project because of the Niger Delta Development Commission’s signpost which indicated that the road project was that of NDDC.”
However, the committee was further stunned, when it was led to another abandoned road project at Ukwa East local council area, which was said to have been awarded for N2.08 billion.
Other projects that aroused attention were the 32km Obohia-Ohanku-Aba Road, spanning to Ohambele-Obeaku. The contract, awarded to Herbertech Nigeria Limited, in November 2009, was done only up to eight kilometres, even as the contractor had already received N300 billion.
Nwaoboshi, who ordered the contractor to return to site or forfeit the contract, said the senate was highly disturbed at the high number of abandoned projects across the states. He warned that contractors who refuse to return to site to be prepared to face the law.
Managing Director of the company, who identified himself as Lawrence Mba, explained that he abandoned the project because of the inability of the commission to increase the contract sum, having later discovered that the road construction would include more than three bridges, besides other things not captured earlier in the bill of quantity.