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Group Probes Project Execution in Niger Delta

Group Probes Project Execution in Niger Delta

PUBLIC accountability group, Niger Delta Development Monitoring and Corporate Watch (NIDDEMCOW), says they have undertaken an independent investigation of development projects executed by governments in the oil and gas region of Nigeria, and found some of them to be spurious.

Executive Director of the group, Nengi James, told AkanimoReports on Thursday night that the investigation took them to Cross River, Edo, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta and Bayelsa States. According to James, ''we carried out on the spot evaluation and performances assessment on projects on the ground''.

Continuing, he said they considered the state governments' performances on budget implementation and funds received from the federal allocations including internal revenue accruing to the states as well as to ascertain what is been claimed in the media by various governments in the region.

The group claimed that their fact findings was based on on-going and completed projects that relates to urban development, infrastructures, rural development on decentralization, investment opportunities, employment and wealth creation and educational empowerments.

''We found Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and Edo are top on project performances and fair accountability on their budgets implementation but call on governors to avoid using friends, cronies and incompetent companies in contract execution'', the group spokesperson said.

NIDDEMCOW also frowned at lack of transparency and inappropriate use of the 13 per cent Oil funds, which has always cause suspicion between the public and the governments of various states in Niger Delta.

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Adding, they said, ''we believe that most of the Niger delta people do not know what their government is doing with the public funds particularly the 13 per cent oil revenue and this has made many turn against their governments as they do not see the benefits of the Federal allocations accruing to their states''.”

They commended Akwa Ibom, Edo and Rivers for their developmental efforts and urged state governments in the region to take projects to the door steps of the common people at the grassroots as a way of reducing the poverty index in Niger Delta.

“In as much as the group did not visit Ondo state because of circumstances, it calls on the Ondo state government to emulate the good works and performances of Awka-Ibom Rivers, and Edo states developmental stride”.

NIDDEMCOW observed that some of the state governments have well packaged and a make believe policies and development agenda. However these nicely prepared development projects framework are set up as deceit, because most of the polices and plans of action were never implemented.

The group has expressed worry over the ambiguity budget appropriation by state governments without specifics on the projects and programmes. And the lack of transparent engagement of civil society groups in budget participation has caused system and institutional failure in Niger Delta and indeed in Nigeria.

ENDS

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