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Delayed projects: EFCC to prosecute corrupt NDDC contractors, officials

By on June 13, 2012

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plans to collaborate with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in prosecuting contractors and officials delaying execution of projects in the region.
The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, said this yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at an enlightenment and sensitisation workshop on the Ethics of Project Execution and Delivery for NDDC Contractors/Consultants.

Lamorde, who was represented by the Commandant of EFCC Academy, Ayo Olowonihi, said over-invoicing of contracts was a major challenge for NDDC.
He disclosed that investigations showed that officials connived with contractors to misappropriate billions of Naira meant for project execution.
The EFCC chief said due to such practices, contracts were often awarded to the wrong contractors with the aim to sub-let same contracts afterwards.
According to him, the investigations also revealed that some contracts were not awarded for the benefit of the people, but for the purpose of embezzling public funds.
Lamorde urged contractors not to allow government officials to use them to steal public funds, saying: “If you do, we will arrest and prosecute you and your accomplices.”
The EFCC chairman explained that the workshop was meant to create a synergy between NDDC and contractors, to fast-track development in the Niger Delta.

“Since the creation of NDDC as pointed out there, things haven’t been done properly. So, I guess the time has come for this interface.
This matter will end up with law enforcement anyway and we say before it gets there, let’s talk about it.
“So, the whole essence of this was to bring together the two parties (NDDC and contractors) and for us, I stand here on behalf of the people of the Niger Delta and we make a plea to contractors to deliver. We make a plea to NDDC to ask that quality be given,” he said.
Lamorde also disclosed that the Federal Government would recruit World Bank officials to vet all Federal Government contracts in order to reduce corruption in the public procurement system.
“When done, nothing will be procured by the Federal Government unless it bears the team’s (World Bank officials) stamp of approval.”