The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta has summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Steve Oru over poor handling of road contracts, and to explain why the Ministry has not commissioned a single project since it was created in 2009.
Chairman House committee on Niger-Delta affairs, Rep Warman Ogoriba, said the committee has unearthed several perceived irregularities in the award of contracts by the Ministry.
He said the committee has discovered a contract for a 17.5km road that was bided for and won by a company, Triacta Plc. However, the Ministry chose to deal wholly with a sub-contractor, Heartland Plc who entered into a partnership agreement with Triacta Plc. This, the Committee considers suspicious and un-acceptable.
‘Though, we may not have the whole details as to the legality of what the Ministry has done by dealing wholly with a sub-contractor and shutting out the main contractor, we know that such an arrangement leaves much to be desired; and we will get to the bottom of it’’.
When put on the scale to see the level the Ministry’s involvement in the perceived subversion of due process, the Director of Infrastructure in the Ministry, Engr. Nelson Orvhovi produced documents to that effect, saying that the Ministry approved the partnership agreement between Triacta and Heartland.
On why the Ministry chose to sideline the main contractor and deal directly with the sub-contractor, the Director ran out of steam with ready answers to the posers put to him.
Speaking to Reporters after the meetings, Rep Ogoriba stated that so many contractors handling projects in the Niger Delta are either incompetent or out rightly fraudulent. “It is this incompetence and fraudulent nature of companies handling these jobs that has accounted for the Ministry’s inability to complete and commission a single project since its creation’’.
‘’If we find out at the end that this is the case, we will terminate such contracts and engage competent contractors that will work for our people’’, he said.
The Minister and representatives of Triacta are expected to appear before the Committee on Friday to shed light on the issues raised during the probe.