The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been urged by the House of Representatives to promptly complete the shore protection and other projects that have been abandoned within the Eket/Onna/Esit-Eket/Ibeno Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom state. The motion, brought forth by the Lawmaker representing the Federal Constituency, Okpolupm Etteh, during a plenary session, highlighted the contractor’s failure to deliver despite being paid 50% of mobilization funds.
The scope of the shore protection project included safeguarding the coastlines of Upenekang, Iwuoachang, Okorutip, Odoro-Ikot, Iwuo-Okpom, Mkpanak, and Itak Abasi communities in Ibeno Local Government Area. These areas are particularly vulnerable to the threat of ocean surges, necessitating the establishment of setbacks, dykes, and other control measures.
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The contract for the Shore Protection works was awarded to Smith Engineering Company Limited in 2006 for a total sum of N3,287,787,000.00. Half of the contract amount, N1,643,893,500.00, had already been paid to the contractor as mobilization funds. However, despite receiving 50% of the payment, the contractor has only achieved 8% completion and subsequently abandoned the project. The whereabouts of the contractor remain unknown at this time.
In response to the project abandonment, the House of Representatives resolved that the NDDC should assess the progress made by Smith Engineering Company Limited since 2006 and conduct similar assessments for other abandoned projects within the Federal Constituency. Moreover, the House urged the Commission to either compel the contractor to resume work immediately or take necessary actions to recover the mobilization funds. Additionally, the contract may be re-awarded to a competent contractor to ensure its completion.
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To address the prevalence of abandoned projects in the Federal Constituency, the House Committee on NDDC has been tasked with demanding a comprehensive list of such projects. The committee will investigate the reasons behind their abandonment with the aim of facilitating their completion. A report of the findings and recommended legislative actions is expected to be submitted within four weeks.
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