Impact of projects in the Niger Delta

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“Little progress in Niger Delta after billions spent” words of President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday 16th Dec 2013 as he admonished the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure that all ongoing projects are completed before awarding any new contract and inaugurated a new board of the Commission at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

The president said “There are just too many ongoing projects and we believe that you don’t even have enough manpower to manage the ongoing projects”.

I agree with the president, as it is clear that these awarded contracts and not impacting the lives of the people in the region. There is a lot of talk and work been done mentioned here and there about completed projects? It is my understanding that projects have post-implementation phases where the return value of these projects can be measured to ensure that this projects have not been a complete waste of time and government resources or just a means for the elite few to line their pockets.

  • What happens to the funds already spent, will anyone be held accountable?
  • Does changing members of the board solve the problem (on offence to the new members)?
  • Are there processes in place to prevent the mistakes of the last members from happening again?
  • Are there processes in place to ensure that projects are not repeated multiple times?
  • How are these projects been measure as successful or as a failure?
  • Does anyone even ask the people living in this region what they need before these billions are allocated?

Clearly, the people in the living in this region have every right to be upset with the conditions they are made to live in with billions been allocated to their region and there is still nothing to show for it. Which ones do I mention and ignore the rest, is it the roads that are so bad that a drop of rain make them impassable or is it the lack of basic amenities in the region.

Awarding contracts or not, projects in this region need to impact the lives of the people living there. It is unheard of anywhere in the world that a region that produces the country’s wealth seems to be the most undeveloped.

We want impactful change and progress, and hopefully the new members of the NDDC can provide this. To the new members I say this try and better our living standard in this region. We understand it’s a slow and steady process but some level of improvement be better than nothing year in year out.

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