Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has said that the biggest challenge she had upon assumption of office “was the fact that we are owing so many people“.
Semenitari, who made this known in Abuja said the commission was owing more than 8,600 contractors between N400 billion and N450 billion..
She said that the paucity of funds coupled with the public perception of the commission became sources of concern for the management of NDDC.
She, however, said that the commission had to deal with both challenges and reinvigorate the workforce to be able to get to its present state.
“The biggest challenge we had upon assumption of office for me was the fact that we are owing so many people.
“We were owing more than 8,600 contractors and we are owing between N400 billion and N450 billion.
“That’s a lot of money; so the first challenge was you have so many contracts and you have so much debt – so there was a big hole right there.
“The second was the perception problem. The commission was perceived rightly or wrongly as a place you just come, take your own share and go; it was also perceived to be a corrupt place.
“And we also had to deal with the need to professionalise the workforce basically in terms of how you reposition the people.
“And also reinvigorate the workforce so that people will have a sense of freshness and a sense of new challenges because we can get people back on track.’’
According to Sementari, better days will come for the commission by the time its funding partners pay up the amount they are owing.
She said that with payment of the outstanding monies, the projects the commission was handling would become visible.
She added that the late passage of the budget of the commission had hampered proper planning and proper management of the commission.