Water Hyacinth covering Niger Delta Waterways
An attempt by the Niger Delta Contractors Forum to hijack the water hyacinth contract which involves the removal of water hyacinth along the waterways and creeks in the Niger Delta has been rebuffed by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
A statement by the commission representative unequivocally state that such contracts are deliberately and specifically reserved to the Ex-militants of the region who willingly surrender their weapons and renowned violence. The contract is designed as an empowerment tool for the ex-militants to enable them to sustain themselves and resist to go back to crime.
Mr. Charles Odili who is the director of corporate affairs, NDDC made the commission position known while reacting to the threat by the Niger Delta contractors forum to shut down the commission for its refusal to award the contracts to their members.
The contractors’ forum had also accused the NDDC of non-payment of the due contract sum to their members thereby suffocating them financially. The commission was also accused of not paying contractors so that some critical uncompleted projects are completed to benefit and improve the standard of living of the Niger Delta people.
However, Odili in debunking all allegations leveled against the commission by the contractors said all their accusations and claims are connected to their inability to pressure the commission to give them the hyacinth contract meant for ex-militants.
According to Odili “the water hyacinth contracts are meant for some of the youth who have been rehabilitated from militancy. To say that the NDDC is working against the interest of the Niger Delta people is also wrong.
The current executive management of the NDDC kickstarted its tenure by paying N10 – N20 million to contractors, who have been owed for over 6 years.
The water hyacinth project is an empowerment program meant to stimulate entrepreneurial drive in young people. Contractors carry out major impacts project. The two types of project are separate and different and are not interchangeable.