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N2.3 billion Elebele wooden bridge: NDDC denies involvement, says its “fake news”




THE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has denied the allegation of its involvement in the construction of a wooden bridge trending on social media, allegedly constructed by the Commission at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

According to the post, the NDDC built the wooden bridge at a cost of N2.3 billion.

In a press statement signed by Charles Obi Odili Director, Corporate Affairs on Thursday, he said the information is fake.

”The Commission hereby declares that it has no such project at Elebele. We have gone through our records for the past 18 years and there is even no contract offer for the construction of a bridge in the community,” the statement read in part

Odili in the statement disclosed that the Elebele community in 2018 sought the assistance of the Commission to rebuild the bridge which had collapsed which he stated that the proposal is still going through the commission’s system and is presently at the design stage.

The statement also revealed that the community undertook a self-help project and built the wooden bridge while awaiting NDDC’s intervention.

The Commission emphatically states that It has no input or connection with the bridge, neither was a contract signed nor money paid.

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”It has no NDDC input. NDDC has not paid out any money for it. In clear terms, this bridge has nothing to do with NDDC.”

The Commission, therefore, urged stakeholders to regard the post as part of the propaganda tactics of those who want the NDDC to be scrapped to deny the people of the region, the benefit of infrastructural and economic development.

”The fake photograph is a follow up to the false allegations and campaigns launched by these detractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission in the news and social media space and even at the recent public hearing by the National Assembly. These forces and their spokespersons are not from the Niger Delta.’

”They are enemies of the region. The people of the Niger Delta have lined up behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s ordered forensic audit exercise. That exercise will account for how the projects undertaken by NDDC were done and bring to account those who failed in their responsibilities to the people of the Niger Delta Region.”

Odili however stated that the  NDDC under its current leadership remains committed to ensuring the Commission achieves its core mandate as the interventionist agency for the Niger Delta region and its people.

He also stated in the statement that for the avoidance of doubt, NDDC has some of the best engineers in Nigeria and the quality of their work are world-class.

Odili also advised those in doubt to visit the 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa, which cuts through the swamps with ten bridges and 99 culverts.

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The road, constructed in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, is ready for commission, he stated.

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