* Calls For Immediate Termination Of ULO’s Airport Contract
The immediate past Deputy National President of Association of Local Government Organisation of Nigeria, (ALGON), Constantine Itiakor lkpokpo (Malik) has said anyone who does not support the total autonomy for the third tier of government is an enemy of development.
Speaking on Tuesday during an interactive session with Journalists in Asaba, capital of Delta state, Mr. Ikpokpo who also doubled as the immediate past state chairman of Isoko South local government area asserted that however, autonomy without sharing formula will only means a mere academic exercise and effort in futility.
On his three years in office as Isoko South council boss, Ikpokpo disclosed his administration performed excellently well in agriculture, health, sanitation, introduction of biometric, education as well as peace and security among others, adding that garbage disposal was one of its major challenges which he surmounted by engaging private waste disposals.
“Since people refused to pay for garbage disposal leading to dirty environment while the people continue to generate more garbage. Local government councils cannot continue to fund garbage disposal because it is expensive.”
Ikpokpo, however attributed his success in office to qualitative leadership which is also driving his coming for a second tenure adding that though paucity of funds was a major challenge to his administration but took solace in the fact that his kind of leadership has brought hope to the hopeless and the people have come to identified with it.
Ikpokpo disclosed that at no time did the Emmanuel Uduaghan and Ifeanyi Okowa led administrations tampered with allocations meant for the councils in the state rather they augment the councils to enable them pay teachers salaries which was another challenge for the councils in the state.
Meanwhile on the issue of the failure of the contracting firm handling the upgrade of the multi billion naira Asaba airport project, ULO Consultants Ltd, the immediate past state chairman of (ALGON), Ikpokpo, described the contractor as a disgrace to indigenous contractors and called on governor Ifeanyi Okowa to without fear or favour terminate all contracts been handled by the firm to save Deltans.
“It has become a shame that after huge sums of monies were collected from the previous administration and also from this administration despite the challenge of financial fluidity he has abandoned his projects. I know Governor Okowa, he has the presence of mind to make tough decisions. The contract should be terminated and funds refunded where applicable. This nonsense must stop. Contractors must start doing jobs they have been paid for.
“The airport is an embarrassment. Sector C of the Ughelli-Asaba dualization road, Maryam Babangida road contracts by ULO are all big shame. We fly thru Owerri and Benin. The state committed no sin in giving the contracts to an indigenous person but he has committed a sin by depriving us the use of these facilities. It’s a big shame” the immediate past Isoko South council boss lamented.
It could be recalled that the Delta state House of Assembly Committee on Works during its oversight inspection of work at the Airport expressed total dissatisfaction over the level of work at the airport by ULO.
The Committee Chairman, Evance Ivwurie warned that the era of contractors embezzling projects funds and abandoning them would soon be non existent as appropriate sanctions would henceforth be meted.
Our correspondent reports that the Chief Executive Officer of ULO Consultant Limited, Uche Okpuno and the state commissioner for works and others who were summoned by the state House of Assembly Committee on Works for questioning appeared Tuesday.
HardReporters recalled that due to the failure of the Delta state government to comply with safety measures, especially concerns on the runway and taxiway and hills surrounding the airport, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, had in 2015 downgraded the airport with the banning of operations of certain categories of aircraft.