Nigeria’s Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) has canceled unattended projects worth N2oo billion (about $551 million) in the Niger Delta region of the country for lack of adequate funds to execute the projects.
The commission expressed concerns over low-end projects in the Niger Delta region that require huge sums to execute while noting that funds were insufficient in the commissions coffers.
According to a commissioner representing the region, Ogaga Ifowodo, “The NDDC has cancelled projects worth over N200 billion in the Niger Delta. The trouble is that the board inherited huge challenges that require enormous focus and strength to tackle.” He added that, “the NDDC has over 10,000 projects across the Niger Delta, which is unmanageable by any standard and that means our contingent exposure of up to N1.8 trillion”.
The NDDC claimed that the cancelled projects have a zero chance of ever reaching the completion stage.
Meanwhile, the commission also disclosed plans to cancel projects with a 5 and 10 percent chance of completion. “The next ones we will cancel are those at five and 10 percent until we get to a level where we can’t cancel any more projects. The whole idea is to get rid of as many projects that are difficult to complete and it is an ongoing exercise,” Ifowodo stated.
Stakeholders noted that the uncompleted NDDC projects include water, road, shoreline protection, education buildings, walkways, bridges and hospital projects, among others. According to them, most of the contractors do not perform optimally. They alleged that some of the contracts are taken by NDDC staff themselves, “past and present”.
As at 2014, when he was NDDC chairman, Senator Ewa Henshaw stated that the NDDC had a total number of 4,000 abandoned projects scattered across states of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta
- Nkwoagu Isuochi erosion control project in Umunneochi Local Government Area, Abia state
- Orie-Ngodo- Lombard road projects at Umunneochi Local Government Area, Abia State
- 50 kilometer Obihie- Akwente- Azunmini-Ukanafun road project, a link road between Abia and Akwaibom
- Okoyong Liberty City Road project in Oduakpani Local Government, Cross Rivers State