It has become a sorry sight to behold the widespread fraud that has marred the list of road project contracts being earmarked for execution by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC under Mr. Nsima Ekere.
At close look, one is forced to smile and to believe that the NDDC czar means well for the people and has decided to use his position to correct the years of neglect and injustices to the state by successive leaderships of the intervention agency. As a group of independent Akwa Ibom media persons, our resolve to congratulate and thank the NDDC boss has however been cut short by the revelations that there is no sincerity in the projects at hand, as allegations of fraud and sharp smart irregularities came to our notice.
It is nostalgic to even imagine that such desperation dare exist in administrative consciousness of Nsima and Team to attempt broad day light robbery of another man’s toiling.
The Matter in Perspective:
The Akwa Ibom State Government, through the Ministry of Works is operating a contractual Financing scheme (CFS) with Construction companies. Under this scheme Contracts are awarded only to capable companies who can execute contracts without waiting for down payments from Akwa Ibom State Government for at least 13 month period before Government starts reimbursement. Little wonder so many road projects are simultaneously being undertaken by Governor Udom Emmanuel even with the meager allocation from the federation account.
That Mr Nsima Ekere became the managing director of NDDC, through the advocacy of Governor Emmanuel and other Akwa Ibom elders. Mr. Emmanuel specifically sent a message to President Buhari, that he should look among the ranks and file of the APC members in Akwa Ibom, and appoint someone from the oil producing communities to complete the tenure meant for Akwa Ibom state to pilot the affairs of NDDC.
It was expected that whoever becomes the MD will think Akwa Ibom and the next generation, rather than the next election like Nsima Ekere and his team are seen to be doing. The evils of playing politics with road construction meant for your own people cannot be over emphasized.
Perusing the ambiguous and ambitious list of supposed projects by NDDC under Nsima’s watch of execution, one is left with a strong doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari may have since abandoned his fight against corruption in Nigeria. Or else, we would have asked him to check out the following lies by such a sensitive and all important federal agency, under his watch:
LIE NUMBER ONE:
IDIABA NDA NSIT-NUNG UDOE ROAD: This is a that links Nsit Atai and Ibesikpo Local Government Areas , the project was awarded in 2015 to COSSEL Nigeria Limited and is due for commissioning on the 28th of May 2017. But NDDC under Nsima Ekerehas included it as one of their projects meant for execution in Akwa Ibom , so is Nsima Ekere deliberately out to deceive the public with fake contracts ?
LIE NUMBER TWO
Ikpe Ikot Nkon – Arochukwu Road
The Ikpe Ikot Nkon- Obotme-Arochukwu 14 kilometer road was awarded to Peculiar Construction by Akwa Ibom State Government in 2016, and work is at an advanced stage.
LIE NUMBER THREE
MKPOK –OKAT ROAD
The 5kilometer Mkpok – Okat road is a foregone conclusion having been executed by the administration of Governor Emmanuel. But trust Uncle Nsima, he has gone ahead to claim a road constructed in Onna local government Area by Mr Udom Emmanuel. What desperation! Check NDDC list No. 65 and Akwa State completed project list No. 4.
LIE NUMBER FOUR
NO SPECIFICATION ON PROJECTS:
A situation were about 38 projects by NDDC read “Roads and bridges construction,” without recourse to the inch, meter, kilometer or specifications, gives room for public deception by desperadoes. How is one expected to bid for a road without being told the length of such a road?
LIE NUMBER FIVE
There are some projects that are nonexistent or too vague to be understood or taken seriously. For example, there is an offer for bidding of roads leading to the palace of all the paramount rulers in Uyo Federal Constituency, and one is forced to ask where those roads are meant to begin from, especially when more than two or three roads can lead to one palace. Is it not foolishness that would lead one to go construct a road to the Palace of Edidem Ita Etuk the paramount ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan whose compound lies along the highway close to the Nung Udoe roundabout?
The fraudulent duplications, ambiguity and insincerity may not be unconnected with the refusal of Mr Ekere to connect with the state and its leadership since his emergence in November, 2016.
We don’t want to believe that the unbridled desire to ‘capture’ Akwa Ibom State for APC at all costs remain the sole ambition of Mr Ekere as NDDC MD. It is no longer news that many PDP chieftains have been approached to decamp to APC and get a road contract.
If Nsima Ekere’s NDDC can lay claim to Akwa Ibom State projects, tax payers sweat while we are alive, able, willing and active, one can only imagine what robbery is going on in black and white from the MD’s table.
In more responsible climes, the position of an indigenous NDDC Managing Director ought not to breed dishonesty in project delivery. Giving back to Akwa Ibom people that which is rightly theirs shouldn’t be politicized and deceptive as Nsima and his boys are doing.