Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC has commenced legal processes towards terminating the contract for the construction of a 522-bed space prototype hostel at the Ambrose Ali University in Ekpoma inEdo State.
Acting Managing Director of the commission, Ibim Semenitari gave this directive after inspecting the hostel project at the Ekpoma campus of the university.
In the company of other directors of the Commission, Semenitari said the hostel project would be re-assigned to a more competent contractor, adding that she was dismayed that a contract that was awarded to Unibright ENGRG Limited since 2004 had barely reach 25 per cent completion.
While apologizing to the university community for the poor performance of the contractor, Semenitari acknowledged the efforts of the university authority in raising concerns about the appalling attitude of the contractor through letters to the Commission.
According to the NDDC boss, “Contractors like this should not be allowed to go scot free. This is unfathomable. By next week I want to sign the termination letter for this contract so that it can be re-assigned to a contractor who is ready to work to get the job back on track,”
“These are problems that come up when you are dealing with a lot of things at the same time. The Commission has a lot on its plate with 8,000 plus jobs. It’s always not too easy to be on top of all of it. We apologise where standards are below par but the whole idea of what we are doing is to come back to speed and come back to standards,” she said.
“You can also see that the quality of supervision on the projects from the Edo State office is quite commendable. It is very strong and very high. Where there have been lapses, it has been because the state office was not hands on and directly involved and so they were unable to rein in the contractors.
Clearly, this just goes to re-enforce the fact that we must strengthen the state offices to be able to carry out the monitoring and evaluation of our projects.”
Semenitari said: “Yes, we have some areas we have been very upset. It is very sad because the funds are not ours to spend as we please. The funds do not belong to the contractors as well to use as they will. So, it is sad when you see contractors who have taken money and done nothing and then you see other contractors who have done so much and are being owed by the commission. You just wonder why we are not striking the balance here.
Again, these things happen but the idea is to move on and we are moving on.”