Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ex-Attorney General wants defaulting NDDC contractors prosecuted

Ex-Attorney General wants defaulting NDDC contractors prosecuted

A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Chef Victor Iyanam, has joined the growing clamour for the arrest and prosecution of contractors that abandoned projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) if they fail to return to site.

The State Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang, recently blew the whistle on contractors, mainly members of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who abandoned NDDC projects in the last 16 years.

In an interview programme on Planet FM, a private radio station in Uyo, Iyanam said prosecution of such contractors was necessary to restore sanity to the system and serve as a deterrent to others.

“Those contractors must be prosecuted and must refund the money they collected. If people are not punished for committing crimes against the people, they would continue to do so,” he said.

But he took a swipe at the works commissioner, saying it was irritating that the commissioner was championing the campaign against NDDC  whereas he is “a man who has his hands full with uncompleted and abandoned projects of the State Government.”

Iyanam stated that all the attacks on the NDDC Managing Director, Obong Nsima Ekere, allegedly sponsored by the State Government, were because of the perception that he was interested in the 2019 governorship race and not because he was responsible for the abandonment of the projects as he was barely six months in office.

He said that the high expectation on the NDDC by Akwa Ibom people was an indictment of the State Government.

“The overwhelming interest in NDDC is because there is a deficit in the State Government’s infrastructural initiative, if any. And that is why people are now mistaking the NDDC to be State Government. That is not what it ought to be. NDDC is an interventionist agency. Even the State Government should not now begin to project the NDDC as an agency that ought to take over from them. 

It is still their job. NDDC is intervening in nine states and you cannot afford to portray Nsima Ekere as being sectional. I believe the distribution of projects is done at the central level where they all take a decision. It is not the duty of NDDC to come and run Akwa Ibom State for the State Government. The State Government must do its job and stop shirking its responsibilities,” he said. 

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