Communities in Akwa Ibom have called on the Niger Delta Development Commission to expedite actions in completing its many projects abandoned in the state, describing as alarming the spate of abandoned projects in the state.
The communities in their separate calls, lamented that the positive effect of the interventionist agency has not been felt by the intended beneficiaries with some of the projects abandoned for as long as 15 years.
Many of their leaders who spoke with newsmen stated that the negligence has denied the region and its people improved standard of living and the opportunity to access dividend as an oil producing community.
Specifically, one among the multiple abandoned projects in Eket was mentioned where a comprehensive water project in Nduo Ndu Okon Eket village awarded in 2017 by NDDC to Mangrove Swam Limited to provide portable drinking water for the people is still uncompleted thereby exposing members of the community to water burn diseases and other health hazards.
According to residents, the sign post bearing the contractor’s vital information on site has been deliberately removed by the contractors so they could not be traced.
Again, in Usung Udo Odueyang, the non-completion of a two kilometer road connecting Nduo Ndo one and two villages awarded in 2014 to Eba and Sons Limited has become a nightmare to the inhabitants of tthese villages as houses are flooded whenever it rains while the road remains to a large extent impassable.
Meanwhile, Friday Tom Inyang, lkot Ibiok Afaha Atai, Ikot Udofa roads as well as remedial works on failed and unmotorable section of Senator Helen Esuene Mkpok way in Ikot Udoma and Afa Idung Inyang Usoekong communites in Eket are all in sordid state following the abandonment of these projects.
But on the contrary, a community leader, Pastor Ita Udoh blamed the abandonment of projects and the poor performance of the NDDC on lack of project supervision, commitment and synergy with various state governments across the Niger Delta region and called for a complete overhauling of the NDDC through the ongoing forensic audit for the wellbeing of the region.
At Ikot Itak in Ibeno local government area, the hopes and aspirations of commuting on a good motorable road has been dashed as the Inua Eyet Ikot-Itak Ukpa Okposo road and a bridge awarded to Movanni Global Services Limited and Cadlink Associates Consultant is still uncompleted after four years since initial commissioning.
Also abandoned is a land reclamation project of some villages that were overrun by the sea and shore line protection project awarded to Smith Engineering Services.
Although, the actual year which this was awarded cannot be ascertained as signpost that bear the contractor’s vital information was no longer visible on site, the project meant to protect the shore line from being eroded by the sea has been abandoned with no hope of completion, thus exposing the people to the danger of marine erosion.
Also, in Oron local government area there is a handful of uncompleted road projects by NDDC. They include Mary Hanney road and the Oron jete road.
Lamenting on the hardship experienced by residents, Essien Effiong said the contractor has been using off and on approach leaving some stretch of the road uncompleted.
Meanwhile, residents of Enwang, headquarters of Mbo LGA have blamed the sheer number of abandoned NDDC projects on influential PDP members in the state who abandoned the projects after collecting mobilization fees.
A community leader, Elder George Antai said, “Enwang community is littered with so many abandoned projects by the intervention agency. It’s appalling that some of the contractors are PDP bigwigs who abandoned the projects after collecting mobilization fees. We appeal to the Commission to order the contractors to sites to complete these projects. We have over five roads, blocks of classrooms and water projects that have been taken over by tall grasses”.
Niger Delta development commission a federal government interventionist agency established in 2000 to channel development in the nine oil rich Niger Delta states including Akwa Ibom with the slogan NDDC determined to make a difference, regrettably no difference has been made over the years by the agency thus, many blame it on the massive financial corruption that bedevil the agency performance over the years.
Hence, in making the determined difference the ongoing forensic audit under watch of Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei should not fail to look into contract documents of all NDDC abandoned projects across the nine states and ensure the projects are completed in line with the commission’s core mandate which it was established for.
Also, youths drawn from Eastern Obolo Local government, have lamented abandoned projects by NDDC threatening that the neglect of the area by FG agencies could lead to a crisis situation if the situation is not addressed
Jonah Adasi said “the neglect of the oil bearing areas of Eastern Obolo since the creation of NDDC has brought untold hardship on the people”.
“The major access road from Okoroette, the Local Government headquarters to Elile and Amadaka communities which you pass to this palace is completely cut off from the rest of the communities; am happy you saw it and felt the pains as you were coming.”