Our interest lies in the fact that a lot of fraudulent activities are taking place in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) largely perpetrated by our fellow Niger Delta people, whether as contractors or as managers of the Commission; this has become the bane of the underdevelopment of the region. Every well meaning citizen of the region should therefore rise to the occasion and condemn these heinous crimes.
It is on this basis that we have decided to join issues with Rodnab to set the records straight so that the public and particularly the people of the Niger Delta will know who their true enemies are.
We all should recall that Chief Godswill Akpabio made a huge noise about completing the permanent site of the NDDC Headquarters located along Eastern By-pass, Port Harcourt, by March 2020. This project was initiated by the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). The contract was awarded to Marshland Nig. Ltd at the cost of N6b. Marshland brought the project to 65% completion and was paid N4b. The contractor demanded for an upward review of additional N4b due to project delay caused by failure of the Commission to meet its payment obligations.
The Commission engineers re-evaluated the project and pegged the cost at N6b, recommending the likes of Julius Berger to complete the job.
Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director at the time, jettisoned this recommendation and reassigned the contract to Rodnab Construction Ltd at the profligate sum of N16b. If Marshland Nig. Ltd., the original contractor needed just additional N4b to complete the entire project and NDDC Engineers pegged it at N6b because they were recommending Julius Berger to complete the project, why did Nsima Ekere award the contract to Ronab Construction Ltd. at the whopping sum of 16b? An extra N10b from what would have been offered to Julius Berger and N12b higher than what Marshland Nig. Ltd. requested to complete same project. Why?
In the dishonest statement released by Rodnab Construction Ltd, they made a failed attempt to distract the public from the facts by trying to deny their relationship with Chief Akpabio. Their only defence to the inflated payment of N16b for a contract valued at N6b was that the contract was awarded to them before Chief Akpabio became Minister. Whereas it is common knowledge, we have stated this before, and we unequivocally state here again that Messrs. Rodnab Construction Ltd. has been Chief Akpabio’s crony since his days as governor of Akwa-Ibom State. Nsima Ekere needed Akpabio’s political support for his 2019 gubernatorial ambition in Akwa-Ibom State, hence this patronage. These are the irrefutable facts.
Rodnab Construction Ltd received roughly N10.4b before Chief Godswill Akpabio became the supervising Minister of the NDDC. Upon assumption of duty, Chief Akpabio hurriedly visited the project site and ordered the Commission to pay N2.6b, giving March, 2020 as project completion dateline.
From reliable sources, we can confirm that the project is currently about 70% complete, implying that Rodnab’s input to the project is just about 5% (if any), after collecting a total of N13b. Yet, late last month, (March, 2020) the current Interim Management Committee (IMC) paid Rodnab another N3b, bringing the total sum received by Rodnab to N16b, representing the final and total contract sum.
That is the crux of the matter. Is it true that Rodnab has received the total sum of N16b as payment, being the total contract sum? If yes, why is the project still where it is at the moment? Is it the practice of Government/Agencies of government to make full payment for an ongoing contract? Didn’t Rodnab Construction Ltd. make the corrupt payment of N100m on behalf of Chief Godswill Akpabio to militants, to bomb oil installations in the Niger Delta through Zenith Bank, which were released to the militants in three tranches on the 10th of February, 2020 in the bid to force Dr. Nuneih out of office? These questions are begging for answers. Why was N16b paid to Rodnab Construction Ltd. for an uncompleted project? A project that Julius Berger would have completed for N6b and Marshland Nig. Ltd. would have done for N4b? What justification do you have for this? While we hope and pray that our anti-graft agencies will find answers to these burning questions, the Niger Delta people must all come together to defend our collective resources before it is completely emptied by the enemies of our region.
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