By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja – The acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs Akwagaga Enyina, has expressed the commission’s commitment to addressing the low rate of completion of the projects it awarded.
Enyina made this known at a public hearing, organised by an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating abandoned projects in the Niger Delta zone, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“I will like to state that the NDDC is determined to tackle this huge challenge of extremely low and slow rate of project completion.
“But, to do this, we very humbly request for the backing of this honourable committee, the House of Representatives and the National Assembly, at large.
“In particular, we ask for your help in the recovery of all payments due from the Federal Government as well as oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta region, in accordance with the NDDC Act,” she said.
The acting managing director said that there were 660 newly-awarded projects and appealed to the committee to support the commission to ensure a drastic reduction in the introduction of new projects to the NDDC budget.
She said that there were a total of 9,820 awarded projects out of which 4,288 had been completed while 1,786 had yet to commence.
Enyina said that there were a total of 342 stalled projects out of which 30 had been taken over, with 49 terminated.
She said that a total of N2.8 trillion was approved in the budget but only N1.8 trillion was released.
The acting managing director said that there was an outstanding funding gap of N983 billion based on approved annual budget and a gap of N1.3 trillion based on amount payable to NDDC.
Enyina said that there were unremitted funds of N60.2 billion due to NDDC through the Ecological Fund.
The Chairman of the Committee, Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), said that the commission should provide account statements and all other relevant documents to the committee on or before Friday, Sept. 27.
He also invited all past managing directors of the commission to appear before the committee to explain the roles each of them played to ensure project execution while in office.