|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on September 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM|
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has sacked the board of Niger DeltaDevelopment Commission, the agency responsible for development of theoil-producing Niger Delta, over large-scale fraud on awarding contracts forprojects in the restive region, according to a government statement Wednesday.
This action follows the submission and consideration of a report by agovernment committee that investigated a new crisis in the NDDC last July,the statement said.
A new board for the commission would be constituted soon, it added.
The president on July 27 ordered an investigation to be carried out onthe NDDC following agitations by communities in the oil regions over neglectand the many abandoned projects in the area.
The investigation panel was charged with the task of assessing andevaluating some NDDC projects, evaluating contractors pre-qualificationprocess by the commission, as well as probing the involvement of the NDDCboard, management and staff in awarding contracts.
The state news agency NAN reported on Wednesday that Jonathan hasordered security agencies to take action on contractors that defaulted inexecuting the projects, even after receiving funds.
"Project abandonment is totally unacceptable to us," Jonathan said. "Theera of contractors taking money and not doing their work is over. If the NDDCis to act as a catalyst for development in the Niger Delta, then we must actto redeem the situation," he added.
It would be the third major probe of the NDDC in the past three years, over fraudulent activities in the commission over which at least two chief executives had been sacked.
The NDDC has an annual budget of about Naira 100 billion ($643 million), drawn from contributions from the government and oil companies, to provide infrastructure in the impoverished Niger Delta, which accounts for nearly all of Nigeria's 2.6 million b/d of oil output.
Lack of development in the region is one of the grievances ofcommunities and militants who launched a violent campaign of sabotage againstNigeria's oil industry between 2006 and 2009, reducing its oil output by morethan a quarter.
Nigerian president sacks board of oil agency over fraud