The Senate Committee on the Niger Delta has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for embarking on emergency repairs at 194 locations in major roads across the Niger Delta region.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, was speaking while inspecting the emergency road repairs of the DDPA Housing Estate Road in Asaba as part of a two-day inspection of NDDC projects in Delta State by members of his committee.
Senator Nwaoboshi said that the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, who accompanied the Senators on the inspection, deserved plaudits for initiating the emergency repairs that were currently going on at 26 roads in Delta State.
The Committee Chairman declared: “We are very pleased with the job done here. I thank the NDDC for the emergency road repairs and I restate my earlier endorsement of this new idea introduced by the Acting Managing Director.”
The Senators also inspected the Koko-Oghoye-Escravos Road in Warri North Local Government Area of the state. They were informed that seven kilometres out of the 15.3-kilometre road had been asphalted, while work was progressing on sand-filling and clearing for the remaining stretch of the road.
Senator Nwaoboshi described the N14 billion regional road that would eventually connect Delta with Ondo states, as “a beautiful project.” He expressed optimism that the contractor would overcome the challenges of funding and swampy terrain to deliver on the mega project.
The project Manager, Engr. Dany Mansour, told the Senators that his company was expecting additional funding from the NDDC for the construction of a 220-metre bridge which was the next milestone on the road’s alignment. He said that the long bridge was expected to cost over N1 billion.
The Senators were, however, disappointed with what they saw at the site of the Koko Shore-protection project also in Warri North LGA. They were told that the contractor had abandoned the site many years ago after collecting more than half of the contract sum.
Senator Nwaoboshi expressed surprise that the legal department of the NDDC had not initiated actions to bring the contractor to book and possibly recover the money already paid to him. He said: “I have previously complained about the tardiness of the NDDC legal department. There is no justification to allow a job awarded in 2006 to continue to linger without any action to compel the contractor to perform or face the consequences.”
At the 23-kilometre Agbarho Internal Road in Ugheli, the Senators were again displeased with the poor performance of the contractor who was said to have deviated from specified standards and asphalted the road without a stone base. Senator Nwaoboshi wondered why the project was awarded to only one contractor who, according to him, did not have the capacity to execute the contract to specification.
The Senate Committee Chairman was equally dissatisfied with the state of the Okwe-Oko Road project in Oshimili South Local Government Area. He noted that the road, which was awarded to cover three kilometres, would “lead to nowhere,” unless it was extended to six kilometres provided for in the budget.
Briefing the Committee, NDDC Acting Head, Project Monitoring and Supervision, Engr. Felix Aomreore, explained that the project would be done in two phases to get to the desired target.