Saturday, May 22, 2021 10:10 am
By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Ambassador Sobomabo Jackrich, the leader of a socio-political pressure group in Rivers, the Network for the Defense of Democracy and Good Governance, NDDGG, has again expressed worry over what he described as lack of due process and transparency in the contracts awarded by the state government.
Sobomabo Jackrich made the observation in Luuwa Community of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State where he was conferred with traditional chieftaincy title called “Mene Yereba One of Ogoni Land, meaning “Chief Helper” by chiefs and stakeholders of Ogoniland.
Jackrich cited the recent award contract for the 9th Flyover Bridge at Rumuepirikom and other capital projects by the state government as case studies.
He queried where the bidding for the contracts were published and which firm estimated the bill of quantity and carried out the surveys for the contracts before the costs were arrived at.
“The governor said he wants to build a ninth bridge. You will hear that the governor will just say he slept over and then he thinks it is expedient that he has to do this project”
“Nobody comes together to give him a Bill of Quantity , and there’s no publication anywhere to show that this project would be done”
“In every developed state and country, before a project is being awarded, there will be a publication, advert for people to bid. Please my dear Rivers people, can anybody show me where such a bidding is taking place?”
He further noted the second phase of the Bori/Sakpenwa was reawarded because his groups raised the alarm that the state government commissioned the project when it was only 40 percent completed.
He said the high level of unemployment recorded in the state according Nigeria Bureau of Statistics was because government contractors failed to honour their Corporate Social Responsibilities, CSR, to their catchment areas.
On his part, leader of Ogoni Liberation Initiative, Reverend Fabike Douglas, assured that Ogonis will continue to synergize with the Kalabaris and other ethnic nationalities in the state so as to forge a common front for the enthronement of a credible leadership in the state ahead of the next political dispensation.
Douglas equally disclosed that his group has dragged Julius Berger to court over its failure to compensate people of Ogoni communities whose means of livelihood have been affected as a result of the projects carried out for the state government.
Rivers State government had announced the construction of a ninth flyover at Rumuepirikom and dualization of the first phase of the Ahoada- Omoku Road as well as internal roads in Omerelu.
The State government said the construction of the ninth flyover at Rumuepirikom is necessitated by increasing vehicular activities and traffic jams at some entry points in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the flyover which will be completed in 12 months at the cost of N6.6billion, would be funded by the deduction of N400million monthly from State’s Internally Generated Revenue.