– Inspects Regional Hospital, University Hostel
The Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa, has ordered contractors handling its projects to return to site immediately and complete the work for which they were engaged.
Speaking during the inspection the Niger Delta Region Specialist Hospital, at Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the Commission would not go back on the regional hospital project because of its strategic importance. He promised to pay for the milestones already achieved by the contractor to ensure that the project was completed.
The Interim Administrator, who was accompanied by Directors of the Commission, also inspected the 175-room University of Uyo Permanent site hostel in Uyo Local Government Area.
Akwa directed the contractors to report to the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt for a comprehensive evaluation of the constraints, which would assist in putting together of the necessary things to ensure the realisation of the projects.
The Structural Engineer for the regional hospital, Blessing Umoh, described the project as three-in-one complex that comprised Orthopedic, Cardiovascular and Children/Maternity sections.
The contractor, Elder Mfoniso Essien, put the completion status at 26 per cent and appealed for the payment of outstanding Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, to enable them return to site.
Inspecting the hostel project, Akwa stated that the NDDC was building similar hostels in other universities across the Niger Delta region. He, however, observed that a few of the projects were experiencing some hitches which would soon be resolved.
He regretted that the uncompleted university hostels, which were awarded many years ago, had for one reason or the other, remained stalled.
The NDDC boss assured that efforts were being made to review all the obstacles and take measures to ensure that the projects were completed. He said NDDC would assist universities in the region to ensure that their students undertake their studies in comfort, stating: “We are committed to doing whatever has to be done within our capacity to ensure that we add value to the educational system in the Niger Delta.”
He assured that the few NDDC hostel projects in the various universities in the Niger Delta region that were yet to be completed, would be re-activated as soon as possible and the contractors appropriately funded to return to site.
On the University of Uyo hostel, the Interim Administrator said that the NDDC was very eager to complete the project. He asked the contractor to submit his requirements for the continuation of the project, promising to ensure that he was paid for achieved milestones.
Briefing the NDDC boss, the Contractor, Arc. Emeka Maduka, said that the hostel project had largely been completed, leaving only external works and landscaping.
He said that the project had reached 80 per cent completion before it was stalled on account of funding challenges.
No Bench Warrant against NDDC Interim Administrator – Senator Nwaoboshi
… Says money allocated for new NDDC Hdqs well uilitised
Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has refuted reports that the Senate issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa.
Senator Nwaboshi, who was speaking during the oversight visit of the Senate Committee at the new NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, described the reports as untrue, saying that he was reliably informed that no such order was issued.
“The Interim Administrator has been reaching out, communicating and discussing with the Senate,” he stated, adding: “He opened discussions with us. We are happy that he accepted that there is need for cooperation and collaboration for Niger Delta to move forward.”
The Senate Committee chairman, however, disclosed that the Senate was still investigating the issues connected with the NDDC COVID-19 palliative funds, adding: “We are aware that the NDDC Interim Administrator was not part of the NDDC leadership team at the time.”
He stated that the NDDC boss was appointed Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission in August, 2020, “a month after the National Assembly began probing the matter. He was not a party to any of the transactions on the palliatives.”
Sen. Nwaoboshi also expressed delight over the completion of the NDDC permanent headquarters, noting that the Committee had appropriated N16 billion for the completion of the headquarters building.
He stated: “We are happy to sit at the headquarters today. We have come to see how the money has been used in executing the project. We want to know whether the money has been well uilitised. And I want to state that we are happy with what we have seen. The money has been well utilised.”
Welcoming members of the Senate Committee, to the NDDC permanent headquarters, Mr. Akwa commended the Committee for their unflinching support for the NDDC, noting that the support was critical for the development and progress of the Niger Delta region.
Akwa said: “For about a year we had misunderstanding with some members of the National Assembly. The members are noble men and they had to bend backwards to bury the hatchet in the interest of the region. When I went to the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to defend the 2020 budget, they cooperated with us. I assured them that we will insist on doing the right thing at the NDDC.”
The Interim Administrator later took members of the Senate Committee on a tour of the newly completed headquarters complex.
BREAKING: Buhari Appoints Bawa As New EFCC Boss
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.
According to the statement, his appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004.
“Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of Advance Fee Fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.
“He has undergone several specialized trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005. Bawa holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy,” the statement said
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