The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said it will prosecutes contractors who abandoned its projects after collecting advance payments as well as commercial banks that issued advance payment guarantee for the defaulting contractors.
This is as the Commission declared that it has cancelled over 600 contracts worth over N200Billion as a result of irregularities emanating from the procurement processes.
Managing Director of NDDC, Nsima Ekere, who spoke to journalists at the commission’s office in Port Harcourt, said the commission is working with the Presidency to arrest and prosecute the defaulting contractors and the commercial banks.
Ekere said, “We are determined to go after all the contractors who got money from the NDDC and abandoned their projects. We are not going after the contractors only, but we are going after the banks they issued the advance payment guarantee. We have already recovered about N60 million from the banks.
“We have a committee that we set up that is working on it to ensure that all NDDC funds that are in the hands of contractors and projects have not been executed to match those funds that have been paid out. We will recover those monies and put them back in the system and then, prosecute the contractors involved. We are working with the Office of Mr. President on the prosecution of these defaulting contractors.”
He stated that in an effort to restructure the NDDC balance sheet, the management of the commission recently cancelled over 600 contracts following discrepancies in the procurement processes.
The NDDC boss said, “So, the process and system of running the NDDC must be properly reformed so that it can run efficiently and deliver efficiently. We said we must restructure our balance sheet. The NDDC balance sheet is presently overbloated, we have contingent liability in excess of N1.3 Trillion.
“Therefore, there is the need to look at the resources of the commission, whatever the recieveables that come on monthly and yearly basis is and then reform that balance sheet so that it can become more meaningful and achievable.
“One of steps we have taken already and we have already done this, at the last management meeting, we approved the cancellation of over 600 projects that the NDDC already procured. We discovered that those projects, some of those contracts were either not properly procured, some of them were procured while the contractors have not gone to sight and some of them are as late as 2001.
“Surprisingly and sadly also, some of the contractors already have collected advance payments from the commission and yet zero work have been done on site So, we terminated those contracts worth round about N200Billion.”