Worried by series of abandoned community projects in Bille kingdom in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, the youths in the kingdom have threatened to cause problems if the contractors handling the said projects failed to complete them.
The youths issued the threat when they paid a courtesy visit to Chief Bebe Jacobs, the Agbaniye-Jike 1 of Niger Delta in his office in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The Bille youths, who spoke through their leader, Comrade David Bibi alleged that most of the contractors handling the projects are from the Bille kingdom. And the youths wondered why they abandoned the projects that belonging to their community. “This is a greed from the highest order,” Comrade Bibi said.
According to the youths these projects were awarded to the contractors by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) under the Bille Kingdom Community Trust and that of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU). The youths alleged that these projects ran into millions of naira, and accused the contractors not having the interest of the community at heart. “The abandoned projects in the area are more than N360m,” Comrade Bibi alleged.
Comrade Bibi who highlighted some of the abandoned projects which include: Construction Of Youth Secretariat At Bille town: Phase I and II at the cost of N34,850,200, Overseas Scholarship Awards (N174,960,685), Installation Of Local Broadcasting Station (N9,0004,000), Renovation/Equipping of Science/Administration Block, CSS Bille, (N9, 763, 460) Skills Acquisition Scheme (N25,357,000) Water Project (34,000,000), Library Project, Supply Of Diesel, Construction of Coldroom (N33,961,786) and several others.
The youths frowned at the contractors handling these projects, saying that their attitude and actions are aimed at under developing the entire Bille kingdom.
Comrade Bibi named some of the contractors and the projects awarded to them.
He alleged by saying that the construction of the Youth Secretariat was awarded to Dumo Warigbani, the Overseas Scholarship (Fidel Odom), the Construction of Cold Room (Igiri and Konyo), the Skills Acquisition Project (Reginald Dein), the Water Project (INC Herbert), the Library Project (Chief Boma Dappa), the Supply of Diesel (Ibim Sanipe) and others.
They advised the contractors to have a change of heart concerning the kingdom, so that Bille will develop and compete with other communities in state in terms of infrastructural development.
Responding Chief Bebe, who is also the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 16, Bille in the Degema Local Government Area advised the youths to be calm and focused.
He later thanked the youths for the visit and pleaded with them to always tread the path of peace and dialogue to ensure speedy development in the Bille Kingdom.
Chief Bebe who is also the national coordinator of Transformation Agenda for Goodluck 2015 called on Shell not to award contracts to Bille indigenes who cannot do the job.
He advised the management of SPDC to always award projects to contractors who can do the job effectively, especially the new jobs that are coming to the kingdom now.
Chief Bebe, a freedom fighter in Niger Delta regretted that contracts that been awarded in 2012 are still not completed two years after.
He, however asked Shell to stay away from Bille territory and that of her flow station if it will award the contracts on the new projects that are to be sited in the kingdom to indigenous contractors who cannot execute the job.
“What I want is Shell should award projects to contractors that can do the job, and not people that will collect the money and runway
We don’t need such contractors in Bille kingdom again”, Chief Bebe concluded. ###