By Enyieting Etim
The rumoured feud between the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Works and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been attributed to the Commission’s continued habit of arbitrarily executing shoddy projects in the state.
The Commissioner in charge of the State Ministry of Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang, who made the disclosure when he paid a scheduled visit to the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) during the maiden edition of the union’s monthly congress, denied speculations that government is antagonizing the development commission, and divulged that the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration will remain firm in its demand that contractors handling road projects in the state adhere to global standard and subject themselves to supervision.
Mr. Inyang, who is also a grand patron of Zone F (South-South) NUJ, explained that the state government’s insistence on quality work delivery by NDDC is to ensure that wastage of funds allotted to the state by the Federal Government is curbed.
The Works Commissioner who frowned at the unprofessional attitude of contractors handling NDDC projects accused them of using substandard materials in carrying out poorly executed jobs which eventually deteriorate few months after execution, and faulted claims that NDDC is impacting positively on Akwa Ibom people.
The South-South NUJ Grand Patron observed that rather than join hands with Akwa Ibom government to develop the state as a federal government intervention agency, it was clear that NDDC in the state were interested in politics instead of engaging in profitable venture that would be for the overall benefit of the people and for the development of the state in general.
He debunked the rumour that his ministry had forcefully chased away NDDC contractors from construction sites using armed security personnel attached to his convoy, adding that as a responsible government, such action is the least approach ever contemplated in carrying out its core mandate as a ministry.
Mr. Ephraim Inyang commended the indigenous companies handling government projects across the three senatorial districts of the state for not only delivering their assigned projects on time but also based on specification.
The Works Commissioner said it was evidenced that with the quality of jobs executed by the indigenous contractors, the companies can compete favourably with their foreign counterparts in roads and other construction engagements.
While thanking Gov Udom Emmanuel for giving the companies the opportunity to showcase their delivery capacity, the Commissioner equally commended the contractors for their show of commitment, dedication and readiness to work in partnership with the present administration in the state to deliver quality road projects for Akwa Ibom people