The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have dismissed rumours making the round that it executed a N2.3 billion wooden bridge project in Bayelsa state which reportedly caved in recently.
The denial followed condemnation which had trailed a digital photograph of a wooden bridge alleged to have been constructed by the NDDC at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Two different photographs of the said bridge believed to have been constructed with the sum of N2.3 Billion NDDC before it collapsed had since got viral on the social media in the past 48 hours.
NDDC had been enmeshed in series of financial sleaze and malfeasance by the Interim Management Committee of the agency which was recommended for a sack on Thursday by the Nigeria Senate.
The commission, however, in a statement described as ‘fake’ the picture being circulated as one of its failed project used to fleece the region of its accrued resource, saying there is no wooden bridge built by NDDC at the cost of N2.3 billion.
“The Commission hereby declares that it has no such project at Elebele. We have gone through our records for the past 18 years and there is even no contract offer for the construction of a bridge in the community”.
NDDC however disclosed that a proposal for the reconstruction of the bridge which was forwarded to it have remained at the design stage since 2018.
“The Elebele community in 2018 sought the assistance of the Commission to rebuild the bridge which had collapsed. The proposal is still going through our system and is presently at the design stage.
“While awaiting NDDC’s intervention, the Community undertook a self-help project and built the wooden bridge. It has no NDDC input. NDDC has not paid out any money for it. In clear terms, this bridge has nothing to do with NDDC.
“We urge our stakeholders to regard the post as part of the propaganda tactics of those who want the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to be scrapped to deny the people of the region, the benefit of infrastructural and economic development.
“The fake photograph is a follow up to the false allegations and campaigns launched by these detractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission in the news and social media space and even at the recent public hearing by the National Assembly.
“These forces and their spokespersons are not from the Niger Delta. They are enemies of the region. The people of the Niger Delta have lined up behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s ordered forensic audit exercise.
“That exercise will account for how the projects undertaken by NDDC were done and bring to account those who failed in their responsibilities to the people of the Niger Delta Region.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC under its current leadership remains committed to ensuring the Commission achieves its core mandate as the interventionist agency for the Niger Delta region and its people.
“For the avoidance of doubt, NDDC has some of the best engineers in Nigeria and the quality of their work are world class. Those in doubt should visit the 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa, which cuts through the swamps with ten bridges and 99 culverts.
“The road, constructed in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, is ready for commissioning”, Charles Obi Odili, Director, Corporate Affairs of the commission, said in a statement.
Below are the pictures of the said bridge which went viral on social media.