Kula chiefs have sent emissaries to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to take its verification exercise to projects in the area.
The delegation which came in the name of the Concerned Citizens of Kula, led by Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, appealed for the investigation, reconsideration and completion of abandoned NDDC projects in Kula and other communities in the kingdom.
In a petition signed by the chairman of the Concerned Citizens, Sara-Igbe and 18 other chiefs, they thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the conduct of forensic audit on the NDDC.
The chiefs said: “We are particularly grateful for the peaceful resolution of the OML25 dispute, and approval given to Belemaoil Producing Limited for the building of Export Terminal in Kula with its concomitant employment and development opportunities.”
“This is an eloquent testimony of the Buhari administration’s commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability which promotes the frontiers of progress, prosperity and unparalleled infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region.”
They said that sequel to the forensic audit, the community felt it was necessary to register their complaint over some uncompleted and abandoned projects in the Kula kingdom. They appealed to the NDDC to extend the investigation into projects in Kula communities.
The Concerned Citizens listed some of the projects, which included the N3.9 billion land reclamation and embankment with five jetties in Kula; construction of 11-kilometres internal roads awarded at the cost of N2.4 billion; administrative blocks of a community secondary school, among others.
The Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr Joi Nunieh, said: “I want to assure you that we will visit your community for site inspection. We expect your people to receive us. We will look at the measurements and every detail of work done and if they are accurate, we will pay.
“I want to say that I am privileged to be at NDDC at this time. The money for the execution of projects is not mine. It belongs to the Federal Government and if a contractor does well, I don’t see why he will not be paid.”
In his own remarks, the NDDC Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, commended the Kula chiefs for coming to share their concerns with the Commission.
He thanked President Buhari for giving the IMC the opportunity to serve the people of the Niger Delta region, especially for ordering the forensic audit.
He stressed: “We owe the Niger Delta region a duty to ensure that all contractors returned to sites to complete their projects.”