The newly inaugurated board of the contractors association of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has promised to change the status quo of unpaid contracts executed in the oil-rich region.
The association in a communique jointly issued by its president, Comrade Sylvester Tonye Iyade and secretary, Comrade John ibigbame, in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, after a meeting which ushered in a new leadership, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the NDDC under the leadership of Effiong Akwa, to mobilise payments for contracts executed by its members in the region.
It lamented that the NDDC under the purview of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has failed to heed to its plights despite several letters, complaints and engagements.
“The association noted with regret that after donkey years of completely executing contracts and a certificate of completion given, the management of the commission under the supervision of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs led by Senator Godswill Akpabio, has failed and or neglected to heed to the sufferings of NDDC contractors despite several letters, complaints and engagements.
“The Association further noted with great dismay that many contractors who executed one form of project or the other with the commission took loans to enable them fulfill their contractual obligations on the awarded contract. Interestingly, some of these projects were completed as far back as 10 years ago. However, due to the continuous refusal of the commission to pay our members, most of them have died as a result of indebtedness, ill-health and hopelessness; whereas the commission daily lavishes funds on parochial and less important issues.
“The association wishes to emphasise firmly without mincing words, that we will no longer allow the leadership of the commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to further expose our members to untold hardship, ill-health and death as doing so would be tantamount to stepping on the graves of our demised members,” it stated.