The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has openly declared that it is in debt. Ibim Semenitari who is the acting Managing Director made this disclosure when she featured in a forum in Abuja on Sunday.
Ms. Semenitari made it very clear that one of her biggest challenges after she took over office was “the fact that so many people are being owed by NDDC.”
She also revealed that the commission is not owing less than 8,600 contractors the sum of N450 Billion when she took over office. According to her, her administration has succeeded in paying about 600 of them.
The NDDC M.D said that better days will surely come for the commission by the time all its funding partners pay up every single penny they are owing. She further said that if all outstanding debt and monies have been paid, all the projects that the commission was handling would become visible.
Earlier in the year, Semenitari had made this same complaint in January while taking a delegation of the Center for Strategic International Studies, Washington, the United States, on an inspection tour t the construction site of the 233-bed Niger Delta Specialist Mother and Child Hospital in Port Harcourt, the capital of River State.
Semenitari explained that first level checks on the number of contractors the NDDC owed showed that the commission was indebted to them to the tune of between N300bn and N400bn. She however pointed out that the NDDC would only pay contractors who were ready to return to site and show commitment towards completing some of the projects at stipulated time.
“We owe about 8,000 contractors and who gets paid depends on who is willing to show commitment”, she said.
The NDDC boss said that the commission was interested in partnerships that would turn around the fortunes of the people of the oil rich region.