Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has affirmed that the Field Forensic Auditors mandated by the Ministry to carry out the physical verification phase of the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) handling Lot 8 in Imo State are on site and working effectively.
This was confirmed by Journalists who were on a fact finding inspection tour involving the Field Forensic Auditors in Imo/Abia States recently.
The inspection was prompted due to negative reports trending on the social media that most of the Forensic Auditors had either abandoned the project sites or are not on ground.
While inspecting the various project sites undertaken by BBC professionals, Lot 8, leader of the auditing firm in Imo State, Egwuenu Gloria, stressed that the late commencement of the project was due to the security situation currently experienced in the State, assuring that the team is working assiduously to ensure that it executes its job diligently, thoroughly and efficiently.
“The crew started last week because of the security situation in the State, we’re the 3rd batch that came in for the physical verification of the projects, so far, we have over 1000 projects in the state and we have covered few out of the many, projects are on different phases as some are ongoing, some are moribund, abandoned, vandalized, completed and awaiting commissioning while some are completed but not in use, those are what we’ve seen on some facilities we’ve visited already,” she said.
Engr. Raymond Ogara, Head of Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Abia State Office, during the inspection tour, said the Commission executed some road projects, transformer installation, renovation of schools and water projects in the area which have already been audited by the Forensic Auditors.
He noted that some community, in the past suffered as there was no access road for farmers to transport food produce to the city for economic empowerment purposes, NNDC decided to open up the areas by constructing a 20km Obinze, Umuokanne, Ilile Umuapu road that transversed almost the villages which include, Odouga, Umuolo, Umuobogwo completed and awarded and has been in use by the community.
“The water project is sited at Umuozita village in Umuokanne Obinze Community. The Community has 2 Transformers sited at different parts of the community, we also have an injection power substation of 1 by 15 MVA intended to power the entire Ohaji, though the Contractor has not been mobilized to site,” he said.
Other project sites already verified include: Umuobogwo/Umuokuzu road which extended to Ohuba to ease transportation challenges of the Communities, Construction and rehabilitation of solar powered project at Umuokanne in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area (LGA); Installation of 300KVA Transformer in Umuokanne to serve Odiuga, Umuole and Umueze towns amongst others.
He further stated that NDDC also built a 6 classroom block with offices, toilet facilities and science laboratory block in Umuokanne Comprehensive Secondary School.
On the issue of evaluation, the Youth Leader, Obunego, Mgbisii Community, Mr. Charles Obasi said that there is need for constant and consistent evaluation of all NDDC facilities to know whether the Ministry and NDDC are leaving up to their mandate.
The Head of Projects, NDDC, Abia State, Engineer Kingsley Azu during the inspection in the State also explained to Journalists that some of the projects already audited include: Construction of Main building of Comprehensive Cottage Health Centre Umuanunu in Obingwa LGA; Installation of Solar street light at lkwuorieator East/Igugeachar, Ukwa East LGA; Remedial works on failed and unmotorable section from Umuomianta Mbawsi (Lot 2) in Isiala Ngwa LGA, Abia State, amongst others.