The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has re-affirmed its commitment to the execution of quality projects for the people of the Niger Delta region as well as pledged to to commission a pilot power project that will restore electricity to Ubima and Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State before the end of the June.
Speaking during an inspection tour of NDDC projects in Obio-Akpor and Ikwerre local government areas of Rivers State, the Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, stated that the Commission was dedicated to building sustainable infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
Professor Brambaifa, who was accompanied by the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Dr Chris Amadi and other directors of the Commission, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done at the various projects,
He stressed: “We want to build infrastructure that will last. You can see the quality of work done on the drainage here. It is not the one you complete today and tomorrow it is flooded and you start all over again. This is a good job and this is the quality we want for all our projects in the different communities across the region.
“We can’t compromise on quality. That is why we have our project monitoring unit. Before we pay for any job, we carry out evaluation to make sure that they meet specifications as the ones we have seen today.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that the inspection tour was necessary because the Commission needed to be sure of what it was paying for. He clarified: “Work on the Isiokpo ring road is impressive. At least, I know that I am paying for quality job here. That is why I came on this inspection to see what I am paying for. I am quite satisfied with what I see as it relates to the quality of work.”
Brambaifa noted the economic benefits of community roads and reaffirmed the determination of the NDDC to open up the interior areas in the region to enable the rural dwellers evacuate their farm produce to the urban centres.
He urged the members of the benefitting communities to support the NDDC and also show appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for bringing development to the Niger Delta region.
Giving his own impressions, the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Dr Chris Amadi, explained that the NDDC executive management was embarking on the spot inspection of all the projects spread across the region. “This is one of such inspections and we will continue from this point to other locations,” he said.
Dr Amadi remarked that the projects would surely add economic value to the communities, noting: “Previously, the villagers did not have access to their farms and they found it difficult to move their farm produce to the market. With the roads criss-crossing different communities, the people are better for it.
He assured that NDDC would not relent in carrying out its mandate to fast-track development and impact positively on communities in the region, especially with the kind of support it getting from the Federal Government.
The Project Manager supervising the Isiokpo Internal Roads, Engr Rabih Ramedi, assured the NDDC team that the roads would be ready soon, stating that asphalting would be completed within two weeks.
A former Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Council, Dr Kerian Wobodo, expressed appreciation to the NDDC for building good roads for Niger Delta communities. “By fixing our roads, you have shown us love and it has given us hope and confidence on the administration of President Buhari,” he said.
Similarly, the traditional ruler of Akpor kingdom, Nye-Nwe Ali Akpor, Eze Aniele Orlu-Oriebe, thanked the Federal Government for spreading development to the rural areas through the intervention of the NDDC.
The projects inspected included the emergency road repairs at Orada School Road in Ozuoba, Omuwobukwu Radial Roads in Omagwa, Ozuaha-Ubima Road, Old Ajuro Road in Alimini, Isiokpo, as well as the Isiokpo Ring Road.
Meanwhile, the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has pledged to commission a pilot power project that will restore electricity to Ubima and Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State before the end of the month.
Prof. Brambaifa gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo in his palace. He was accompanied by the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, and other directors of the Commission, who were on inspection of projects in Ozuoba, Omagwa, Ubima and Isiopko.
Prof Nelson Brambaifa said that he was shocked to learn that the Ikwere kingdom had been without public power supply for over two years. He described it as “anomalous and absurd,” stating that the situation needed to be corrected urgently, as part of a region wide intervention in communities of the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC boss said that the Commission was determined to face challenges of development, to improve the lives of the people. “We swung into action immediately to address these challenges, because the people of the Niger Delta region deserve better.”
He promised that “the electricity project, which is almost completed, will be commissioned in the next two weeks.”
Prof Brambaifa said that the NDDC was using the restoration project for Ubima and Isiokpo as a pilot scheme that would eventually cover all the other distressed areas in the Niger Delta region.
He appealed to the traditional rulers and benefitting communities to ensure that the electricity infrastructure in their areas were protected from vandals and thieves.
In his own remarks, Dr Chris Amadi stated that the communities alerted the NDDC to the deplorable power situation in the area, adding that “for two and half years, the Ikwerre people lived without electricity.”
Dr Amadi stated: “I am happy to announce that work has started in earnest in Ubima and Isiokpo. In fact, the contractor has assured us that the electrification project will be completed before the end of this month.”
The Traditional Prime Minister of Isiokpo, Chief Wobo Amadi, who spoke on behalf of the Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo, said that the NDDC had shown that it could be relied upon for development projects. He said the people were particularly impressed by the prompt action of NDDC, saying to Professor Nelson Brambaifa:“You are a man of your words. You have done so much in three months and we are confident that you will do more.”
He expressed delight that their agony from many years without electricity would soon be over and pledged that the communities which are benefitting from the NDDC would guard the projects “jealously and protect them from vandalism.”
The Managing Director of Income Electrix Limited, Mr. Matthew Edevbie, the contractor handling the project, explained that the entire Ikwerre Local Government Area was going to be served by two sources of power; one from Ahoada and the other from Rumuosi sub-stations. He added: “In Ubima, we have installed eight transformers and within the next one week there will be power in the town.
“We are appealing to the communities to safeguard the power infrastructure. The youth leader in Ubima has promised us that our equipment and installations will be protected from being stolen or vandalised.”
He charged the people to realise that the power asset was being provided for their own good and should, therefore, be secured. He urged them to also note that it was important to pay for the power they consume to ensure that the providers were able to sustain the service, adding that electricity supply was like a commodity that should be paid for to guarantee continued service.
He remarked that NDDC had made provision for the supply of some metres to be distributed free to poor consumers in the community.