Dissent over delayed completion of Ikom Specialists hospital
…Ndoma-Egba exonerates self
Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN has exonerated himself from the delay that has occasioned the completion of the Specialist Hospital located in Ikom, one of the many projects he attracted from the federal government to his home state at the time he was the leader of the 7th National Assembly.
The former Senate Leader spoke through his media aide Sunny Udeh who reacted to an online publication that blamed him and alleged that he did nothing to facilitate the completion of the project even when he had an opportunity when he served as the Chairman of the Board of the NDDC.
The online platform further accused Sen. Ndoma-Egba of awarding the project to a contractor; Emostrade Ltd, a company founded by him.
The statement of defense from Ndoma-Egba’s aide read in parts thus: “Senator Ndoma-Egba founded Emostrade Ltd among other entities, as a private citizen but stepped down from his position in the company upon his election into the Senate, in compliance with extant Code of Conduct laws.”
“He was in the Senate between 2003-2015 and had a brief stint as NDDC chairman for 13months (November 2017- January 2019). During these periods, can CrossRiverWatch show any concrete proof of breach of extant laws for Nigerian public officers by the Senator Ndoma-Egba? If yes, they should put that in the public domain instead of hiding in the realm of speculations.“
Adding, “Approval of the project sum of N1.2b did not translate to release of the full sum to the contractor as insinuated in the report.”
He explained that “Projects are implemented and delivered in stages with payment milestones clearly spelt out in the contract documents. Payments are typically made when any of such milestones has been achieved by the contractor. Is there evidence that Emostrade Ltd breached the terms of the contract of the Ikom Specialist Hospital project?”
The statement noted that the online medium “claimed in their report that work stopped in 2015 when the project was at 50% completion. The truth is that work on the project resumed in 2018 and was taken to 70% completion before funding challenges set in again. This is easily verifiable.”
He regretted that the online medium relied on bits of information gathered in 2015 to make a report in 2021.
His words, “CrossRiverWatch will also have us believe that Senator Ndoma-Egba ignored the project during his brief stint as NDDC Chairman but the records show that significant work was done on the project in 2018 courtesy of Senator Ndoma-Egba.”
“His tenure in the NDDC was cut short in January 2019 and the subsequent lack of funding to the project is the reason for its delayed completion.”
He maintained that “Inquiries at the NDDC revealed that nine Specialist Hospital projects were approved by the Federal Executive Council and awarded by the Commission in 2012. The other eight were not awarded to Emostrade Ltd. Of this number, only the ones in Ikom and Port Harcourt have reached significant stages of completion, with the Ikom project adjudged the most completed.”
“This may not be unconnected with the general issue of poor funding of the projects. In the case of the Ikom Specialist Hospital, this and the fact that the initial project designs were discovered to be inadequate as they did not reflect several components that are essential to a modern specialist hospital including ramps, elevators, pharmacy, mortuary, staff residence, etc. are major contributory factors to the project’s delayed completion.”
“For the records, Emostrade did not produce the said drawings but only submitted their bid based on the drawings as contained in the client’s bid documents.”