Abuja—The Nigeria Senate has adopted a motion to conduct an investigation into a failed contract worth N6.5 billion in Ayetoro, Ilaje Local Government Council of Ondo State, according to the Daily Post.
The resolution was at the instance of a motion sponsored by Senator Jimoh Folorunsho Ibrahim representing Ondo South Senatorial District, calling for urgent intervention to save the community from extinction due to sea incursion.
In a motion titled: “Urgent Need for Intervention to Arrest the Incessant Sea Incursion Ravaging Ayetoro Community in Ondo State, Ibrahim maintained that the community, which accounts for 5.4% of the 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day is slipping into the belly of the Atlantic Ocean.
He stated that a contractor was mobilized through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with a significant sum of N6.5 billion, but both the contractor and the funds are currently unaccounted for.
The Lawmaker said: “Ayetoro community used to be one of the most prosperous riverine settlements in Nigeria due to its thriving trade in fish.
“However, the devastating sea incursions and ocean surges have been the albatross of the Ayetoro community for over two decades, with hundreds of homes and properties being destroyed annually, resulting in the displacement of indigenes of the community and consequently the disruption of oil exploration in the area.
“The NDDC had previously awarded a contract in 2004 to construct a shoreline protective wall using geo-tube technology in Ayetoro, but it was later revoked in 2009 due to alleged lack of capacity. The contract was then awarded to Dredging Atlantic Limited, but even after eleven years under the new contractor and sixteen years since the contract was initially awarded, there has been no visible intervention by the government.
“This has created an impression of an unconcerned federal government.”
In supporting the motion, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) said it is a matter of urgency for the senate to come to the aid of Ayetoro and come up with possible solutions.
The Senate, recognizing the urgency of the situation, has mandated the Committee on NDDC, Environment and Ecology (when constituted) to engage with relevant ministries to develop a plan for immediate intervention in the disaster.
The Committee on NDDC (when constituted) has also been tasked with investigating the N6.5 billion shoreline protection contract awarded by the NDDC in 2006, with the aim of finding alternative solutions if necessary and reporting back to the Senate within four weeks for further action.
The Senate has urged other committees to investigate the contract award in 2009 and provide a report to the Senate.