NDDC current MD Nsima Ekere

There is good news for NDDC contractors as the outstanding debt owed them by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC is gradually being settled by the commission. The commission managing director, Mr Nsima Ekere disclosed the effort the commission has made to put smiles on the faces of its contractors once more.

Mr Ekere revealed that a total sum of N30 Billion Naira has been paid out to contractors since the new board and management assumed office on the 4th of November 2017. Further, Mr Ekere stated that all interim payments certificates which are less than N20 Million have been authorised for immediate payment.

Mr Ekere was speaking during a meeting with the executive members of the NDDC contractors association at the commission headquarters in Port Harcourt. Briefing the association members who were very anxious to get assurances on the huge debt owed its members by the commission on various projects executed all over Niger delta, Mr Ekere stated that the new board met over 8,000 projects, spread all over the region most of which are abandoned with a contingent liability of N1.3 trillion.

The NDDC Chief Executive lamented the inadequate funding of the commission as being their greatest challenge. He stressed the need for the commission to be fully funded in accordance with the NDDC ACT so as to meet its obligations and mandate to the Niger delta people.

Mr Ekere re-iterated the resolved of the new board and management to make a difference in the development of the region by doing things differently from the past administrations of the commission. To achieve this vision he stated, the new board spent more than four months before the inauguration to study and harnessed new strategies for the development anchored on the 4-R initiatives.

According to Mr Ekere, the four R initiatives are to restore the core mandate of the commission, to resuscitate the balance sheet, to reform the governance systems and to reaffirm a commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times.

Elaborating on the strategy adopted by the new management to make a solid mark in the region, Mr Ekere explained that the commission is now relying on technology to enhance service delivery system.

Also being reformed according to the commission helmsman is the governance system with a focus to enshrining best international standard that would be difficult to reverse by successive boards. Another strategy adopted by the new board is involving the oil companies in the commission budgeting process in order to get their input as stakeholders in the oil communities.

The Commission Chief Executive also stressed their resolved to combat corruption and indiscipline among its staffers and has introduced investigative hearing on allegations of corruption against its staff to ensure transparency and probity.

According to Mr Ekere “I believe in constructive engagement, and as such, we are engaging with various stakeholders to confront challenges facing the Niger delta”

Responding to the issues addressed by the commission’s Chief Executive, the President of NDDC Contractors Association Mr Joe Adia pledged his association’s resolved to work together as a partner with the new team at the commission to move the region forward. He, however, called for the release of outstanding funds owed the commission by the Nigerian government to enable them to fulfill their obligations to contractors.