In a revealing revelation, Chief Tony Okocha, the Rivers State representative on the management board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), exposed the alarming reality of 953 abandoned projects scattered across the state. Okocha shared this disconcerting information during an interactive session with members of the Rivers Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Expressing his concern over the staggering number of neglected projects, Okocha emphasized the need for immediate corrective measures. He highlighted his commitment to addressing these anomalies during his tenure and pledged to present a comprehensive scorecard at the conclusion of his term.
“In my study, it was clear to me that Rivers State is number two in terms of the states that have more abandoned projects. Rivers State has 953 abandoned projects of NDDC. And these projects are dotted along and across the nook and crannies of the state,” Okocha stated.
During the session, Okocha stressed the crucial role of traditional rulers in monitoring projects within their domains. He identified three key factors contributing to the abandonment of projects, citing the frequent changes in board members as a significant challenge.
“We find out that some of these projects were abandoned because of the splitting nature of some boards that will come and award their contracts,” Okocha explained. He highlighted the inconsistency in government practices, where boards are set up and dissolved in a short span, leading to disruption in project continuity and execution.
Reflecting on the way forward, Okocha outlined the commission’s focus under his representation. He emphasized a dual commitment to both human capital and infrastructural development, signaling a strategic shift towards holistic and sustainable development initiatives.
As the revelations unfold, the need for transparent governance and strategic planning within the NDDC becomes increasingly apparent. The 953 abandoned projects underscore the challenges plaguing development efforts in the region and the urgency for comprehensive reforms to ensure effective project execution and continuity.