No verification, no payment – Nunieh

Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh, yesterday asked its contractors and consultants to present themselves for verification and documentation, insisting that those that fail to do should be ready to forfeit their payments.

Nunieh also said anyone not on the NDDC list was not its contractor, adding that such persons would be handed over to security agencies for prosecution, just as she warned that anyone who presents fake Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) would be arrested.

She stated this when she visited the Rivers State Office of the commission, where the state’s Contracts Verification Committee (CVC) was carrying out the exercise, which ends on January 31, 2020.

Nunieh noted that the committee’s assignment, which began on Monday was the first stage in the redirection exercise at the commission, stating that the second stage would entail site inspections and validations.

She said NDDC has records of all the contracts that have been awarded by the commission and as such, anyone coming with a fake IPC would be arrested by security agencies.

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“Contractors always say they are not paid, now we have asked them to come with all their documents and they are finding it difficult to do so. Some of them are even scared of the verification exercise.

“Any contractor who is not on the NDDC list is not our contractor and anyone who fails to come for the verification exercise will be held liable. We are hoping that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) will come for the exercise as well. We only have limited time and up till now, only five NGOs have turned up for the verification.

“If you don’t have documents, you are not a contractor, most of the NGOs are not registered and are running to register now. This is an embarrassment to the commission,” she stated.

Nunieh expressed satisfaction with the on-going verification exercise, stating that the committee planned to verify up to 250 contracts daily, adding, “I am surprised that the turnout has been poor so far.

“For those who use agents to run their contracts, they only remind me of our people who reside abroad and would send money to their loved ones to develop projects, only for them to discover when they return that there is nothing on ground to show for all the money they had sent.

“We urge contractors to come for the verification exercise, we will visit the sites only when contracts have been verified. Please, don’t pay anyone for the verification, the exercise is free,” Nunieh added.

Head of the Verification Committee in Rivers State and NDDC Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, George Ero, told Nunieh that the turnout of contractors for the verification was poor, noting that only 82 of the 2,500 contractors on the list in the state had been verified.