The Coalition of Niger Delta Development Commission Registered Contractors (CNDDCRC)
has called for transparency in the disbursement of the proposed 40 per cent mobilisation payment to contractors handling the commission’s projects.
The coordinator of the registered contractors handling various developmental projects for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),
Chief Amechi Jones, said their attention had been drawn to plans to secretly disburse the fund to a select group of contractors in the coming weeks.
CNDDCRC, through its coordinator, warned that while they support the clearing of legitimate debts owed to long-suffering contractors who had yet to be fully compensated for work done, extreme caution must be given on past abuse and mismanagement issues at the NDDC.
The registered NDDC contractors advised that rather than engage in favouraitism, proper vetting processes, due diligence audits and increased transparency measures should be allowed to precede any mass payment of this scale. “Clear communication on payment terms, sequence and requirements must also be provided to all registered NDDC vendors,” they warned.
They reminded the present management of the commission on the need to desist from towing the dubious line of the widespread allegations of favouritism, contract inflation/duplication and uncompleted projects which had over the years rocked the NDDC.
“We expect the current management to tackle the mess, as major stakeholders, contractors have also suffered from uneven treatment, blacklisting threats and delayed compensation that has crippled many businesses.
“We believe a comprehensive, corruption-free settlement of these complex contractual debts is overdue. However, the renewed 40 per cent mobilisation proposal requires much more clarification before funds get disbursed on a discretionary basis.
“They should as a matter of fact, put into consideration, which contractors stand to benefit first? What is the payment process and schedule moving forward? How will overpaid or duplicate contracts get reconciled? These are some unanswered questions,” they said.
They further stated that while the CNDDCRC is open to dialogue, and supports credible reform/restitution efforts, hasty expenditure measures that will reinforce transparency gaps, proper guidelines, audits and communication strategies should be prioritise.