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“Most of the difficult parts of the work are already ongoing. Overall, we are at about 60 per cent completion stage and right now, we have over 70 major projects ongoing but as can be seen, work is ongoing,” he said.

On the delay, Akinsanya said: “Unfortunately, it is difficult to fight nature and rain has not helped and what we are seeing is the result of the heavy downpour for the last few weeks but the work is ongoing and with the cooperation from the contractors, whatever time we have lost, things will be accelerated.

“We have a good working relationship with Hi-Tech; they are committed to the project and I can assure the people that by first quarter of next year, this project will be commissioned by God’s grace,” the Commissioner said.

Giving details, he said 10 out of the 14 pier walls have already been completed and seven ramps, while the casting of the super structure which is the high beam was progressing well.

He said government was aware of difficulties being experienced with regards to potholes, saying the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode had already directed immediate repairs statewide.

“I like to thank his Excellency, Governor Ambode for giving us the necessary support. The Governor is committed to the projects and along with this also is the challenge of potholes being experienced in the State.

Ongoing work on the Pen Cinema Fly Over, being inspected by Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya

“We have been directed by the Governor that once we have a brief window of no rain, the Public Works Corporation has already been mobilized to go all out every where across the State to get everything done within the next three to four weeks and so you will see our men working all over the road,” Akinsanya said.

At Airport Road, the Commissioner said the project was a bit delayed to ensure that the quality of the work was not comprised and to minimize impact on residents, but assured that it would be completed by the end of the year.

He particularly thanked residents and motorists for their understanding and support, just as he assured that the government remains committed to completing all ongoing projects.

“To me, the critical thing is the traffic management because one of the key things we need to do is to minimize the impact on the citizenry. So, we have been doing a lot and work slows down because of traffic management because we want to accommodate the people living around this area and we don’t want to make things too bad for them but as we make more progress, traffic will get better.

“For the people living in this area and the general public, I want to thank you for your understanding and support but please bear with us. This is a temporary thing and come January next year, you will see a brand new road. At the same time, there might be other things going on but the road will be opened. The work is taking some time because quality is very important. We don’t want anything to affect the quality of the work,” Akinsanya said.

It would be recalled that earlier this year, the State Government embarked on repair and rehabilitation of 115 roads carried out by the Public Works Corporation apart from the 48 major roads totaling 129km that were rehabilitated and upgraded by the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, while another 25 other road projects totaling 94km are ongoing.

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NEWS

Pondei-led NDDC IMC transparent, accountable, says Group

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As Nigerians await outcome of the 2-day investigative hearing carried out by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee last week Thursday and Friday on alleged financial recklessness by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a group has debunked the claim of N40 billion scam levelled against the Commission.

The group which projects itself as Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative (CQTI) said as a non- governmental organization, concerned with development of the Niger Delta region through close monitoring of activities of intervention bodies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) , the current Interim Management Committee ( IMC) of the commission is far more transparent in its operations, contrary to the accusation of squandering N40 billion.

President of the group, Obiaruko Christie Ndukwe,  at a media briefing in Abuja Saturday said the Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led IMC is not corrupt as being painted by those  who, according to her, “want the operations of the commission to be business as usual.”

“The Citizens Quest for Truth Initiative under my leadership has been monitoring the operational activities of the NDDC over the years as regards the core mandate given to the commission.

“I make bold to declare here that of all the management teams we have interacted with so far and assessed their activities on the field, the current IMC stands out in terms of accessibility to the people and communities in the area as well as transparency in contracts awards and executions.

“All the hues and cries being made by some vested groups against the current IMC are driven by nothing but fear of being cut off from their yearly loot.

“Rather than trying to pull down the incumbent management of the commission, they should by now be running from pillar to post on how to escape from shame awaiting them from reports of the ongoing forensic auditing ordered by President Muhamnadu Buhari,” she said.

She added that it was a lie from the pit of hell for anybody to allege that the Pondei-led IMC is working for the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and not the people of Niger Delta region.

She said: “During the 2- day investigative hearing, none of the accusers and their cronies could substantiate any allegations to that effect.

“In fact, the public hearing exposed the hollow in all allegations levelled against Akpabio and the Pondei-led IMC and it is expected that they will allow peace to reign now in the commission for the desired development to start taking place in the Niger Delta region.”

 

Credit: Taiye Odewale

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COLUMNISTS

Lawyer raises alarm over N15 billion NDDC payments

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A legal practitioner, Mr. Godwin Ojeh, has lamented what he called corruption of self-enrichment in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Nigerian Senate , Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to stop the payment of N15 billion to contractors.

‘’The Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission has thrown caution to the winds. It is about to pay for jobs not done. The committee is processing the payment of a whooping amount of N15billion on spurious contracts in the name of ‘’Desilting of Waterways’’.

He particularly decried the misappropriation in the management of the funds of the commission.

‘Is the 2020 budget of the commission ready? Where are they spending from? ’Recently, the Senate set up an ad hoc committee to probe the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged mismanagement of N40billion. The Senate also requested for 2019 budgetary performance. The commission doesn’t have power to expend public money. There is no budgetary provision’’.

In a tone suggestive of his hatred for corruption, the Benin based lawyer asked the National Assembly and the executive arm of the government to stop the commission from wasting the country’s resources.

In a statement in Benin, Ojeh described the intention of the NDDC Interim Management Committee as ‘’a move that will endanger development of the region

‘’There is no greater danger to the development of the Niger Delta region than the payments for fictitious contracts’’ the statement said.

He also harped on the need for transparency in government organizations, saying ‘’it is necessary for the National Assembly and the executive arm of government to adopt a collective position on the allegation of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’’.

 

Credit: Ebireri Henry Ovie

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NEWS

HON. BURAIMOH: THE ELEGANT ORATOR…..Agunbiade

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So sudden was your death; so painful was your transition.

This is one death too many after we recently commited the prophetic Adebayo Oshinowo (Pepperito) to mother earth.
I never knew you were on your way out of this world when so unusually, my repeated messages to your phone were never responded to and calls not picked for days.

I did not know that the elegant Tunde was lying helpless somewhere against his wish.
Now, the ever bubbling and lively soul has been hooked by the angel of death and forced through the mill of no return while a lot of us, your admirers, were wondering of your whereabout.

Where is the very active and versatile brain of Tunde Buraimoh? Where is your very peaceful mien and stylish smiles of all times? The big Daddy with big, dramatic and oratory expressions has finally dropped the linguistic garb and that legislative lion has ceased to roar in the Lagos State House of Assembly.

We are going to miss your elegant dressing Tunde. Your charismatic assertions shall elude us till eternity. The beneficiaries of your regular philanthropic gestures will have to look elsewhere for succour hence forth. Dear Tunde, tread graciously to your final abode of no pains and no regrets. We shall hold forth for you where our paths have crossed with good memories.

Our prayers shall forever be for you in the lonely castle of your permanent rest.
I pray we would not have to give this kind of dirge so soon again. Tunde, sun re ooo. Adieu

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