The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Usani, has alleged that some state officials were sabotaging development initiatives in Akwa Ibom, especially infrastructure development in Oboyo, Ikot, Ita and Ikot Ekpene.
Usani made this disclosure on Saturday in Nsit Ibom and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas of the state during an assessment of work done by contractors handling the 40 housing units.
The minister said that officials of the ministry in the state had failed to propagate the necessary information on the projects, which the ministry had been executing in the state.
“What are you doing here as a coordinator when you don’t know the contractors handling this project.
“As a state coordinator, you have no documents on this project to show that the owners of these property involved have been compensated,” he queried.
The minister alleged that some of the officials of the ministry were conniving with contractors on site, leading to contractors not taking the projects seriously.
He warned all contractors handling the ministry’s projects to go back to site and make sure that their work was commensurate with the money collected from the ministry or return the money for the contract to be re-allocated.
The minister explained that the houses were built to compensate the indigenes, whose lands were taken by the Federal Government for oil exploration.
The minister also said that some displaced people, who gave up their lands for the peace of the country would also benefit from the housing scheme.
He said that the nine oil producing states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Imo and Abia would benefit from the 40 housing units.
Usani, however, said that the ministry would draw the modalities for the sharing of the houses and urged community leaders from the nine states to be democratic in the exercise.
“We have almost completed the housing schemes but we want to get the inputs of those on ground.
“The ministry had earlier met with chiefs and community leaders and had given its intention on how the sharing will be done.”
Usani assured that widows, the aged and children would be given priority during the allocation process.
He said that the physically challenged, married youths and members of neighbouring communities would not be left out in the sharing formula, which the ministry had proposed to various communities.
“The ministry will ensure that there will be no conflicts when it is time to allocate these houses to the communities.
“The houses are fewer than the demand and no matter how many you build, people will still require more.
“The ministry will work to sensitise people and work out a formula through which the sharing can be done equitably,” he said.
The former Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Ishaku, had met with some community leaders in the area in April 2014 to discuss the modalities of allocating the houses