The commissioner representing Delta State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo has blamed the youths for the failure of contractors handling projects in the state to deliver them on time.
Speaking at a forum of Isoko Development Union (IDU) in Oleh, Delta State, Ifowodo said the youths were harassing contractors to pay various levies called ‘Deve’ before allowing them to begin work at sites.
The commissioner said such act was the reason “contractors don’t habitually deliver promptly on assigned projects” and the monarchs to emulate the Oba of Benin who banned community youths in Edo State from harassing contractors for financial inducements.
He said that at Enhwe community in Isoko South local council, soldiers were invited to stop some youths who prevented contractors from working.
Ifowodo said Isoko is important in the NDDC scheme stressing that that is why several projects have been marked for the area.
“It is only Isoko that does not have a mega NDDC project in the state, even though such are based on oil production. Isoko was the second place where oil was discovered at Uzere after Oloibiri in Bayelsa State,” he said.
He listed some of the ongoing work on Isoko axis to include the dualisation of the Enhwe-Oleh road, installation of streetlights, work on Emevor-Orogun road, rehabilitation of schools, and construction of four substations to improve electricity supply.
The commissioner also said the commission was committed to executing crucial projects in Isoko, and promised to do everything to return its important projects, which were expunged from the 2018 budget.
He urged Isoko indigenes to take advantage of the newly introduced NDDC scholarship, which he said, would be purely on merit.
Earlier his remarks, the president general of the IDU, Mr. Iduh Amadhe had complained to the commissioner about the alleged marginalisation and under-development of Isoko land in spite of the huge oil and gas production in the area.
He presented Isoko demands to the NDDC, which included the establishment of modular refineries, increasing of crude oil production in the area by exploiting OML 28 fields, and inclusion of Isoko youths in the amnesty programme.