Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of Niger Delta, has asked the management of the Akwa Ibom State office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to submit a detailed report on the status of all ongoing and abandoned projects of the commission in the state.
The decision, according to the minister was to take critical assessment of developmental projects in the state with a view to either reviewing the contracts or appropriate more funds to fast track their completion.
The ministry, in a statement, yesterday noted that the minister gave the directive during an unscheduled inspection of some NDDC projects in Akwa Ibom last Friday.
Uguru was particularly concerned with the level of abandoned projects in the region, restating his commitment to effect a durable change in that regard.
The minister, in the statement signed by Director of Press, Mr. Marshall Gundu, expressed discontent with the absence of human and infrastructural development in the oil-rich region in spite of huge financial investment by successive administrations.
He said: “We came to inspect projects of NDDC in Akwa Ibom State because we are worried that despite huge debt profile of the commission, nothing tangible could justify the spending.
It is quite disturbing that with the huge investment of resources from oil companies, government and all intervention programmes, the region is still backward. But that would be history in no distant time.”
Uguru was optimistic that the recent measures taken by the ministry would effect the needed changes in infrastructural provision in the region thus improving the living condition of the people.
The platform recently created to strengthen synergy with agencies concerned with development projects in the Niger Delta region would ensure an objective opinion of all projects in the region,” he said.
He urged staff and management of the Akwa Ibom State office of NDDC to comply with the directive, threatening to punish anyone found to be hoarding information and documents needed for the quick and timely delivery of the comprehensive report.
The statement further indicated that the minister and his team inspected some ongoing projects, including prototype students hostel located at the University of Uyo and an abandoned road project site at Ikot Akpatek, in Onna Local Government Area.