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NDDC abandoned projects: Reps vow to drag contractors before EFCC

The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) abandoned projects has vowed to drag defaulting contractors before the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), to ensure thorough investigation and prosecution.

Mr Adedeji Olajide, a member of the committee, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Akure.

The lawmaker, who spoke after a two-day tour of inspection to NDDC project sites in six local government areas of Ondo state by the committee is representing Ibadan Northwest, Southwest Federal Constituency in the House.

NAN reports that the ad hoc committee was inaugurated in July to investigate abandoned projects in the nine states of the NDDC, from 2000 till date.

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It is also charged with the responsibility of investigating the cost of award, period of award, the state of completion and constraints being faced by contractors.

Olajide said the committee was also in the state to carry out investigations into on-going and abandoned projects to see how the committee could mitigate some of the risks and issues concerning the projects.

He said: “In the cause of our investigations, we found out that some contractors have actually completed their work, but have not been paid.

Some contractors have on-going projects but because of lack of funds, they cease to work and those projects look like abandoned projects.

“But there are a lot of projects with which we are not satisfied.

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“There are cases of fraud where contractors have been paid and they have absconded. They have abandoned the sites without doing anything.

“After the contracts have been awarded to them and they have been mobilised, they simply walked away with the money without doing any tangible work.

“Work done in many of the projects are just under 2 per cent.

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“This is not acceptable to us. We have law enforcement agencies on ground and we also have good representatives who are ready to fight the cause of the people.

“We are going to make sure that such fraudulent contractors are brought to book because very soon, EFCC will be on their tail.”

However, the legislator said the committee would do whatever within in its power to ensure that contractors who used their money to complete their projects, and those who needed funds to complete theirs, get paid.

According to him, this will encourage honesty because if people used their hard earned money to execute contract and got paid on time, it will prevent them from engaging in corruption.

The committee visited not less than six project sites, including Ayetoro Shore Protection and Reclamation, Ugboh-Oghoye Road, all in Ilaje Local Government, and Agadagba Obon-Arogbo Road/Bridge in Ese-Odo Local Government in the state.(NAN)