By Christiana Ekpa
The Chairman House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on NDDC Hon. Osai Nicholas Osai has threatened to ensure that no fund is appropriated in the 2020 budget for Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, unless the over One Trillion Naira debt being owed contractors who executed projects in the region is paid.
This is just as the contractors to NDDC yesterday accused the agency of the root cause of the projects problem.
The ongoing investigative hearing of the House Ad-hoc Committee on NDDC has revealed that almost all the contactors who executed one project or another in the Niger Delta region for the development of the area are still being owed by the NDDC
Many of these contractors who appeared and also made paper presentation at the investigative hearing on Monday denounced the agency saying that is currently having a debt profile of one Trillion Naira in the projects that had been executed in the nine NDDC states.
Osai who visibly looked infuriated at the hearing, noted that from the documents submitted to the committee many of these contractors had completed their jobs and are still being owed for so long after they executed jobs for the agency.
He said: “for contractors who have finished their jobs and ‘ve not been paid, we are going to use our powers to ensure that provisions are made in the next budget for such otherwise we may not pass it”.
At the hearing one of the contractors Amb. Fubara Blessing who told the committee that so much money had been voted for NDDC but none of the contractors had been paid by the agency.
He advised the committee to ensure that it pluck all the loopholes that had been identified in the payment system to ensure that no contractor is paid a dime by the agency until all contracts awarded by it is completed.
Other contractors noted that most of the contactors don’t go to the site despite having been mobilized for the jobs.
Oghogho the Chief Executive Officer of Emeni of Atom Global Contractors Ltd lamented that most women contractors are not given jobs to execute in the agency despite having qualifications to execute them.
The committee helmsman later adjourned the investigative hearing to Wednesday September 25, 2019 for more contractors to appear and give more testimonies to committee.