NDDC acting MD admits fake payment claims by contractors

Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Joi Nunieh, has disclosed that there are many fake payment claims by some contractors of the interventionist agency.

The NDDC boss vowed to remain unrelenting in verifying all contracts and projects of the commission, noting that  the NDDC has records of all contracts that have been awarded by the commission and, as such, anyone coming with a fake Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) would be arrested by security agencies.

Nunieh said this at the inauguration of  a 50-member Contracts’ Verification Committee, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to confirm and document projects and contracts in the nine Niger Delta states, as part of the process to redirect the commission’s activities.

She advised Nigerians not to buy IPCs and contracts purported to emanate from NDDC, adding: “We are aware that some people are still signing and awarding contracts from hotel rooms. Unfortunately for them, we have a comprehensive list of all our contracts. If you come with fake IPC, you will be promptly arrested.”

The NDDC acting MD said the exercise was a prelude to the forensic audit of the commission ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that it was necessary because there were so many IPCs being claimed by NDDC contractors.

“Members of the committee will go round all the NDDC mandate states to verify these projects and contracts,” she said, noting that the committee’s assignment, which would last two weeks, was the first stage in redirecting the interventionist agency.

“After the initial documentation and verification, we will go out to all the states to identify and inspect the projects. We will work with professional groups, such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, to ensure that the projects are done to acceptable standards for the benefit our communities,” she added.

Nunieh thanked the governors of the NDDC mandate states that had set up committees to investigate the jobs done by the commission’s contractors in the states, following the list of contracts given to them.

She urged the governors to help to fish out dubious contractors claiming to have executed jobs that exist only on paper and assured all contractors that did their jobs according to specifications that they would be paid after the verification exercise.

“We have started paying consultants and suppliers that have indeed done their jobs well,” she added.

The chairman of the verification committee and the executive director of projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, thanked the NDDC boss for giving them the opportunity to serve.

and assured that they would approach the assignment with diligence and thoroughness.