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Niger Delta

NDDC Threatens To Prosecute Contractor Over Abandoned Project

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The Niger Delta Develop
ment Commission (NDDC), has threatened to arrest and prosecute its contractor handling a multi-million naira 522-bed space hostel project abandoned since 2004.
This is contained in a statement issued by the commission’s Head of Corporate Affairs Unit, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, made available to newsmen  in Port Harcourt.
The statement said that Mrs Ibim Semenitari, acting Managing Director of NDDC, made the threat while inspecting the hostel project at Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo.
It said that Semenitari ordered immediate termination of the contract, saying that the project would be re-awarded to a more competent contractor.
“I am dismayed that a contract that was awarded to Unibright ENGRG Limited since 2004 had barely reached 25 per cent completion before it was abandoned.
“Contractors like this should not be allowed to go scot-free because the contractor’s action is unfathomable.
“By next week I want to sign the termination letter for this contract so that it can be re-assigned to another contractor.
“The new contractor must be ready to work and get the job back on track,” the statemenet quoted Semenitari as saying.
The statement said that Semenitari apologised to the university community for the poor performance of the contractor and promised that NDDC would complete the project.
She said that NDDC would strengthen its state offices to enable the commission carry out effective monitoring and evaluation of projects in the nine states of the region.
She said that the commission was making effort to ensure that contractors who delivered on their projects were not owed contract fees to serve as motivation for others.
She said that the commission had arranged a meeting with some of the contractors that had shown some prospects in delivering on their projects.
“We will have serious discussions with them while hoping they will thereafter do the right things.
“If the contractors failed to do the right thing, we will take other measures to ensure that we compel them to keep to our standards,” the statement quoted Semenitari as saying.

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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