Youths Threaten To Shut Down NDDC Over N1.05b Contract Payment

NDDCHundreds of aggrieved youths from coastal communities in the nine states of the Niger Delta region on Friday threatened to shut down the Port Harcourt office of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The angry youths vowed to shut down the office over the commission’s refusal to release the balance payment of N1.05billion contract for clearing of water hyacinth along the creeks and waterways in the region.
They claimed to have completed the job of clearing hyacinth along the coastline and creeks but wondered why NDDC officials continued to withhold their payment.
Some of the youths from the Peremabiri and Koluama communities of Southern Ijaw local council area of Bayelsa State explained that the project was awarded by the last administration to over 700 youths from the region.
According to them, the contract was part of measures adopted by the last administration to empower youths from that region.
The youths said they had given NDDC a 14-day ultimatum to release the project fund or risk shutdown of its activities.
“All the affected youths and representatives of their communities will invade the NDDC office and will not vacate the place until the money is released”, they said.
An ex-militant leader and President of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPDCI), Pastor Reuben Wilson, however, called for calm even as he urged the commission to listen to the youths and release the money.
He said: “The youths are seriously breathing down the neck of the contractors to pay them the money since they had completed the task. The youths have alleged that the money has been paid by the federal government but diverted by some persons.
“The youths are also aware that the money has been released since the assumption of the present administration”.