Quality Project Delivery, Priority for NDDC – Director PMS

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has re-stated its commitment to improve the credibility and quality of its projects across the Niger Delta region through effective project monitoring and supervision. Speaking during an interview with newsmen at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Director, Project Monitoring and Supervision, PMS, Engr. Nelson Onwo, assured that the Commission had a well-defined structure that would ensure a high level of efficiency in project delivery.

He said that the PMS Directorate was managing close to 17,000 projects, out of which about 30 per cent had been completed, while about 50 per cent were on-going and were at various stages of completion.
Onwo explained: “In NDDC, project monitoring and supervision begins in the nine state offices of the Commission, where our engineers pay routine inspection visits to the project sites. They also pay unscheduled visits for purposes of raising Interim Payments Certificates, IPC.
“These activities overlap with those at the headquarters, which oversights the state offices. We complement them and also supervise what they are doing and ensure that what they send to us are double-checked to ensure compliance with our specifications.”
“We have defined hold points for our projects and we insist that our contractors pause after completing certain milestones, to ensure that we supervise what they have done, before progressing to the next stage.”
The Director noted that NDDC had a very robust project monitoring procedure which ensures that no one engineer was able to determine what was going to happen to a project. He stated:
“The state office engineers are the ones that will raise the project evaluation. They are the first contact point between the projects and the contractors.”
Onwo debunked the perception that NDDC projects are substandard, declaring: “The facts on the ground say otherwise. Look at different projects we are executing, the designs and specifications of the projects determine how they should be benchmarked.
“What informs a project’s design is the scope and expected usage. So, the designs for our projects are based on certain parameters. If we design a road, we factor in considerations for certain functional elements unique to the project.”
The PMS Director observed that most NDDC projects were community-based and were thus built to serve the interest of the rural dwellers. He advised those criticizing the Commission’s projects to realise that the standards for community roads were different from that of inter-city dual carriage roads.
He remarked: “We have a challenge of over usage of our roads. We have a situation where heavy-duty trucks are plying community roads because of lack of railways and waterways. This puts a lot of stress on the roads which now carry loads far beyond there designed capacities.
“Another factor to consider is the difficult terrain of the Niger Delta region. We are working in a region where you have highly saturated surface and so if you subject the roads to axle loads that they were not designed to carry, they will fail before there estimated lifespan.”
Onwo promised that the NDDC would complete many more projects in 2024, especially in the energy sector, stating: “We are lighting up the Niger Delta region with our solar-powered street light project and we are going to cover many communities in the region this year.”
He attributed the delay in the completion of some of the Commission’s projects to escalating costs, noting: “You will notice that over the years there has been a lot of escalation in prices, and so you will find out that projects that were awarded at certain costs a few years ago, can no longer be completed at those costs. because of the economic challenges in the country.
“We are currently reviewing our rates because the prevailing cost of materials is hampering the implementation of our projects. When we produce the new rates, we will be able to get more contractors back to site and revive our stalled projects.”
Speaking on the Okrika-Borokiri Road with three bridges, connecting several communities to Port Harcourt, Onwo said that NDDC was collaborating with the Rivers State Government to complete the project. He said that the scope of the project had been expanded considerably.
Pius Ughakpoteni
Director, Corporate Affairs
January 4, 2024.

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