NDDC duped us over the ‘Mother and Child’ hospital ― Wike
River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has alleged that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), defrauded the state government on the establishment of the Mother and Child Hospital, Port Harcourt, a facility the state government and NDDC planned to partner on.
He said both parties agreed that project would be N1.7 billion and while the state government brings N800million, the NDDC would bring N900 million.
“State government at that time paid their N800million. NDDC mobilised the contractor with N400 million of the N800 million we brought and then abandoned the contractor and the contractor left site. And when we came on board, we said okay, we don’t want to partner with you again, give us back our N400 million, it became a problem. Politics came in,” the governor stated.
He made this public, on Thursday, when members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC led by its chairman, Hon Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo paid him a courtesy visit at the government house, Port Harcourt.
Wike lamented that despite the inauguration of the advisory council of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), oil-producing state governors are still sidelined in the affairs of the intervention agency.
He noted that because the governing party dictates what happens in the NDDC, the commission now acts as a state on its own and refusing to interface with the governors of the oil-producing states to strategically develop the Niger Delta region.
Wike explained that contrary to the assumption that governors of the Niger Delta are critical stakeholders in the affairs of the NDDC, they are not in the true sense of it.
According to him, since the inauguration of the NDDC advisory council last year, the present federal government has ensured that the governors were sidelined in the affairs of the commission.
“Even when we are inaugurated, we were not involved in anything that happens in NDDC. Which is most unfortunate.”
He further said: “NDDC is like a state on its own without working with the State government and why is it so. It is so because the states of NDDC are controlled by the opposition party, therefore there is no need to consult with them.”
He said that in a bid to ensure NDDC does not embark on indiscriminate execution of projects that often distort the state developmental agenda, the Rivers State government recently obtained a court order that prohibits the commission from carrying out projects without the consent of the state government.
The Governor urged the National Assembly to be resolute in its oversight function by ensuring that the NDDC stops frittering the resources meant for the development of the Niger Delta region on building roads in Army barracks, police stations and spending Billions of Naira to ensure he did not win election.
He stated that he would continue to speak out for the interest of the people of River State pointing out that within one year, he has awarded contracts for the construction of eight flyovers and, on Wednesday, approved over N16 billion for the development of critical infrastructure in the Rivers State University.
“I want the best for my people. They have given me everything in life, so I owe them. It is not what I will make, they have already made me. So what do I offer back.”
He urged the National Assembly to ensure that the planned amendment of the Electoral Act will usher in a new era of free and fair elections. He insisted that “there cannot be development without good governance. There cannot be good governance without the rule of law. Good governance without the rule of cannot work.”
Leader of the delegation and chairman of the committee, Dr Tunji- Ojo explained that the purpose of the visit is predicated on the fact that Governor Wike is a principal stakeholder in the affairs of NDDC.
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NDDC duped us NDDC duped us NDDC duped us