The Federal Government has ordered investigation into educational qualification of members of staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Uguru Usani gave the directive when he visited the commission on Friday in Port Harcourt.
He expressed optimism the investigation would expose ghost workers and staff members, who gained employment in the commission with forged certificates.
According to him, the Federal Government was committed to purge the commission of sleazy practices with focus to fast track development of the Niger Delta. “We have observed that there are several people working in NDDC with forged certificates, which is partly responsible for the bad image of the commission. “Directors of the various departments in the commission are expected to submit the nominal roll of their respective departments to the NDDC Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, within one week. “We will not tolerate any delay to this directive and as such, failure to submit the nominal roll on or before one week would lead to sanction.
“Any departmental head who signed for a ghost worker would face the music,” he said. Usani, who was accompanied by the House Committee Chairman on the NDDC, Mr Nicholas Mutu, warned against political interference in the process. He said, henceforth, political interference in the running of the commission would be resisted and assured that Federal Government was committed to “governance without partisanship.” Mr Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of NDDC, said the commission would partner the Ministry of Niger Delta, its supervising ministry, to complete construction of the East-West road project.
He said the road project, which cut across six states in the Niger Delta, would cost in excess of N70 billion to complete. “The strategy will be to harness private sector collaboration to complete the road project. The portions that have totally collapsed will be addressed immediately. “We will involve multiple contractors, especially the Eleme-Refinery Junction road, which is a strategic link to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. “The East-West road is also strategic because it connects Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states,” he said.
Ekere said the commission had deployed a technology designed to monitor project with focus to reduce incidences of abandoned projects in the area. He said the technology would enable the commission to monitor project sites and record progress of work in real time. “With this technology, contractors will longer lie to us that they are on site when the work is not going on,” he said.