Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo has said that the federal government will move to punish contractors who collect mobilization fees for projects in oil-producing communities and abscond thereafter.
He stated this while responding to concerns raised by stakeholders from the Niger-Delta region who complained about the spate of abandoned projects in the area.
Osinbajo said that there was no reason why contracts and projects meant for oil-producing communities should be diverted elsewhere, adding that the government will use the relevant anti-graft agencies to ensure that those projects were completed and handed over to the communities.
He urged the oil-producing communities to support the federal and their respective state government in the effort to hold the contractors to account.
Osinbajo assured his audience that the government was working to provide the enabling circumstances that will attract investments that can add value to the region
The Acting President said: “I’m very happy that all of those that made contributions today were asking questions about abandoned projects. From now on, we are going to participate in the process and we will hold the contractors to account.
“Every community should be able to hold contractors to account. There is no reason why money should be spent and some people will divert it. There’s no reason why contracts and projects meant for oil-producing communities should be diverted elsewhere.
“We are going to ensure that we hold contractors to account, and the projects that are meant to come to these communities actually come to them.
“In every one of the places I have been, I’ve said that the future has arrived now. We must start to address all of the concerns of the Niger-Delta and our communities today. And, the only way we can do it is to make sure that we provide the environment for peace so that progress can be made. And I can assure you that we will provide the environment for peace to thrive. We will bring all that is required to do the work that will transform our societies and communities.”
Osinbajo also commended the youths who had joined forces with the government to ensure that there was peace in the region.
“I must commend the young men who have been demobilized now and working actively with the government to ensure that there is peace in their communities and to ensure that investments can come to their communities. That is the way to go.
“We cannot damage oil pipelines and expect there to be the money that we will use for development. That is cutting our nose to spite our face. Destroying facilities is not a solution, the solution is to ensure that investments come and to police these investments,” he added.