NDDC Gives Contractors 30 Days to Return to Site

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects across the Niger Delta 30 days to return to site in order to complete the projects or face prosecution.

Rising from an Inter-Ministerial meeting chaired by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in Abuja over the weekend, the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere, said “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine NDDC States and defaulters would be prosecuted.”

Mr. Ekere said it had become imperative to fast track the on-going audit of projects awarded in the region, in line with Government directives and one of the planks of the new Governing Board’s 4-R Initiative, “which is to restructure the balance sheet of the Commission and determine poor performing projects.”

He declared: “It is important for our contractors to realise it can’t be business as usual. President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality. But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects, in order to facilitate sustainable regional development.

“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly, how they ought to be done and when they ought to be done,” he added.

The meeting, which was also attended by Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Niger Delta and Information and Culture, as well as Ministers of State for Petroleum and Environment and the Presidential Amnesty Office, also reviewed the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme and the 16 point demand of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.

“It was important to consolidate the agenda with that of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of the State governments, the Amnesty Office and the NDDC master plan,” the NDDC Managing Director said, “in order to roll them into one workable plan.”

Mr. Ekere added: “We are all going to initiate quick-win projects that would give a sense of involvement to government’s approach to handling issues that would impact the people. We will organise frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for the communities of the Niger Delta.”

Among other decisions, he said, was the need for the Commission to work with the Ministry of Environment and NOSREA to facilitate the Niger Delta clean-up of affected areas of oil spill, working on a time frame, as well as encourage IOCs to provide more power to their host communities, beyond working with PHCN and DISCOs.

“Satellite mapping,” Mr. Ekere declared, “will be used to identify polluted areas in the Niger Delta and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean up. This is important, because we must ensure that we safeguard our environment and give our people the opportunity and enabling environment to pursue our predominant traditional livelihoods.

“Agriculture and aquaculture are key to facilitating sustainable development in the region, particularly as we seek alternate productive socio-economic activities beyond oil and gas. This is a future we must all work to safeguard.”

NAF Chief Remanded In Prison Over N166m Contractor’s Gift

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the remand of the Chief of Training and Operations of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Olutayo Oguntoyinbo, in Kuje Prison, pending the hearing of his bail application slated for June 6.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi gave the order of remand shortly after Oguntoyinbo pleaded not guilty to the one count of accepting N166m gift from a NAF contractor.

He allegedly received the gift from the contractor, Société D’ Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited, in the course of performing his official duty.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that the defendant received the N166m gift from the contractor while serving as the Chief of Training and Operations of the Nigerian Air Force.

Oguntoyinbo allegedly accepted the gift from the contractor through the account of his company, Spaceweb Integrated Services Limited, kept with Wema Bank Plc.

The Air Force officer was said to be the Managing Director of Spaceweb Integrated Services Limited and sole signatory to the bank’s account.

Credit: Punch

Contractor Sues PDP Over Jonathan’s Campaign Debt

An Abuja High Court is set to begin hearing of a case against the Peoples Democratic Party for allegedly refusing to pay debt incurred during the election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday assigned the suit to a court in the Kuje area of Abuja.

Listed as defendants in the case are PDP, Director-General of Presidential Campaign Organization, Ahmadu Ali, and the Director of Finance of the Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organization, Nenadi Usman.

The campaign was sued over its alleged refusal to pay for services rendered by a company it engaged to broadcast a campaign message for Mr. Jonathan before the election.

The company, Silon Concepts Limited, alleged that PDP, Messrs Ali and Usman refused to pay an outstanding N70 million balance for a campaign contract awarded it by the PDP campaign.

The company claimed it was engaged to provide voice SMS campaign broadcast of Mr. Jonathan’s campaign message which it sent to eligible voters before the March 28 of the presidential poll.

The company said through its counsel, Festus Keyamo, that the defendants were unwilling to pay the N70m balance of the N100m contract sum, which they committed in writing to pay.

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