Relief seems to be on the way, as the Council Chairman of Ukwuani local government, Mr. Chukwudi Dafe has after a meeting with Umutu Community delegates, agreed that the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC take over the completion of the Community Market which from reliable sources and verifiable documents has gulped the sum of N59m as against the execution sum of N60m approved for the project.
“We have handed over Umutu Ultra-modern Market project to DESOPADEC for completion with a charge to meet the architectural and aesthetic specifications conceived by the council before the commencement of the work a decade ago”. The council boss said.
The chairman, who was explaining why he gave the directive that the market project be put on hold, explained that, there were gross errors in the report about the market as filed by Hon (Barr.) Benedicta Ndudi Izuegbu-Osakunih, the immediate council chairman that needed to be put straight.
He further noted that, the manner with which DESOPADEC took over work in the market was not with due process,stressing that, the Umutu Ultra-modern Market was almost 60-80 percent done. He therefore, argued that there was nothing to be reconstructed in the market but instead completion.
While praying for a perfect work to be executed, he however lauded the initiator of the idea for the completion of the market while adding that he meant well for the Umutu people as well as every community in Ukwuani local government hence he is insisting that the work should be done right.
Responding, Hon (Chief) Christopher Nwajiogoli thanked the chairman for his respect for due process and also assured him that the community will ensure that the market is completed according to specifications.
Investigation revealed that the job which was abandoned by successive government, was being taking over by DESOPADEC after due process was followed, but the council chairman took legal action against the commission for working on what he termed a local government job.
Also from investigation, it was however gathered that the sum of N59 million had been committed into the market construction, with a lot of job yet to be carried out.
Further investigation disclosed that the change of tone by the council chairman may not be unconnected with complain made to the governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who was visibly angry with the action of the council chairman, accusing him of trying to sabotage the SMART Agenda of his government.
It would be recalled that, DESOPADEC recently completed the Umutu Skill Acquisition Centre which was initially within the purview of the State Ministry of Youths and Sports, but was handed over to the commission, which is an interventionist Agency. A project that was recently commissioned by the state governor.
Apart from these two projects, the commission is currently handling some other projects in council area, which are not direct jobs of the commission, these includes the reconstruction of the Ekpemili Primary School, Ebedei, the deflooding of the Obiaruku Main Market.