The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it will soon commission a 64-flats residential quarters and administrative block for security personnel in Rivers State.
Speaking while inspecting the residential quarters built for senior security personnel, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, stated that the project would add value to the living conditions of security officers posted to work in Rivers State.
He said that the NDDC was created for the purpose of intervening in the life of the people of the Niger Delta, stating that the project was a demonstration of the importance the Commission attached to security in the Niger Delta region.
Akwa remarked: “We intervened in the housing sub-sector because we realized that when Federal public servants are transferred to Port Harcourt as the regional headquarters of the South-South region, housing was usually an issue. Some persons transferred to Rivers State would ask for enhanced housing allowances. Some will even refuse to come and because of that most of them were ineffective.
“To address this challenge, NDDC decided to intervene by providing houses for senior security officers to ensure that they are more effective in their duties to secure the environment, because if our environment is not secure, there would be no investment.”
Akwa said that the completion of the project was another major achievement of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, noting: “When people say that NDDC is not working, you can see that it is not true. The problem is that people don’t get to know about the numerous projects that the Commission is executing.
“The residential flats and administrative buildings have been completed and would soon be commissioned. We will invite President Buhari to perform another virtual commissioning in Rivers State.”
The NDDC boss promised to clear all outstanding Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, to enable the contractors to put finishing touches to the project. He thus gave the contractors three weeks to complete the finishing touches and hand over the project to the Commission.
He said: “This investment is going to help in improving security in Rivers State, especially in the vicinity of the airport. It will surely enhance the security of the Port Harcourt International Airport and it will also add value to the economic and social life in the area.”
Commenting on the project, one of the contractors, Mr Stanley Aruah, noted that it was started in 2013 and was supposed to be completed in eight months. He regretted that delays in the release of funds stalled the project.
He said that despite the funding challenges, the contractors still continued to work to ensure the completion of the project, affirming that the job would be fully done if money was released for the final touches. “We are going to complete the project within three weeks as directed by the Interim Administrator,” he assured.