The Rivers state Government is currently angry with the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC over construction of projects in the state.
While the state government claims to have been left out of the activities of the NDDC, the commission maintains that the NDDC is operating within the framework of the Act that establishes the NDDC.
Speaking with the media in Port Harcourt, Special Adviser to the Rivers state governor on NDDC, Aribitoye Okiri said the commission has been operating in total disregard to Governor Nyesom Wike.
Okiri said it is wrong for the NDDC to mobilize contractors to site without getting clearance from the state government.
He also accused the NDDC of laying claims to road projects constructed by the Rivers state government, adding that the commission has been fixing NDDC sign posts on roads owned by the state government.
“We do not have any single record of any project embarked upon by the NDDC since the appointment of Ibim Semenitari.
“How do you explain a situation where an agency wants to carry out projects in a state without the notice of the governor of that state. Can any agency just wake up any morning and go to Abuja to construct any project without informing the Presidency.”
Meanwhile, Special Adviser to the Acting Chairman of the NDDC, Semenitari on Media, Bekee Ayanlewachi says the Law does not mandate NDDC to take permission from any local or state government before embarking on any project in its mandate states.
Ayanlewachi said the NDDC is not a state government but an intervention agency.
He further stated that about 64 projects has been completed in Rivers state alone since the assumption of Semenitari as the Acting MD of NDDC.
The SA media also accused the Rivers state government of chasing out NDDC contractors from sites in some parts of the state.
According to Anyalweachi, “Semenitari wrote to the 9 mandate state governors asking for their input to be included in the 2017 NDDC budget. Rivers state government like every other states sent in their letters but refused to follow up their letter.
“There is no where it is stated in the act that the NDDC should take permission from the Rivers state government before embarking on any project. NDDC is under the Presidency. They are only vilifying the Mrs. Semenitari.
“For the Rivers state government to drive away contractors from sites is draconian. It is retrogressive. It is provocative and reactionary. Rivers state is the only state that has decided to wage a war on NDDC.”