By Enaibo Asiayei
Minster of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has disclosed that about 52 projects executed by the ministry are ready to be handed over to stakeholders in the region.
Akpabio, who described 2020 as a turbulent year for the ministry, said a work plan had been developed to drive completion of projects in 2021.
The minister made the comments, yesterday, in Abuja while giving a rundown of the 52 projects in the nine Niger Delta states ready for opening, with emphasis on the Skills Acquisition Centre (SAC) at Agadagba in Ondo State with 38 buildings.
He said the project would be handed over to Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji, subject to presidential approval.
Akpabio said the ministry was undertaking pre-emptive steps rather than being reactive to development concerns in the Niger Delta.
“Therefore, the management considered plethora of issues bordering on the region, including development and underdevelopment, minimising corruption in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ogoni clean-up, peace and security, completion of East-West road, encouraging foreign direct investment, engaging public private partnership to complete some ongoing projects and alternative source of funding,” the minister said.
He disclosed that 75 NDDC contractors who abandoned projects in the region have voluntarily returned to site due to the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akpabio listed some of the completed projects ready for handover as Cassava Processing Plant at Usugbene Irrua, Edo State; Health Centre at Amauzari community, Isiala Mbano Council, Imo State; Health Centre at Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma Council, Bayelsa State; Land Reclamation/Erosion Control Works at Nsit Attai Council, Akwa Ibom State; Health Centre at Eworkpe, Emede, Isoko South Council, Delta State; Umudike-Umueze-Umuoyere Road Project (Phase 1), Rivers State; Mini Water Works at Ikot Effiong, Effiong Village, Akasoko Clan (Idundu/Anyanganse Ward) Akpabuyo Council, Cross River and boreholes and reticulation in Ndulu-Amaoba, Oboro Water Project, Ikwuano Council, Abia State.