In the past 48 hours, a digital photograph of a wooden bridge allegedly constructed by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has been trending on social media. According to the post, the NDDC built the wooden bridge at a cost of N2.3 billion. This is fake news.
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.
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
July 23, 2020.