Awka – Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano has been urged to urgently investigate the poor construction work at the Fish Production village, Adazi Nnukwu, in Anaocha Council Area of Anambra State, being undertaken by the State Ministry of Agriculture.
The call came from youths of Anambra Central Senatorial District, when they visited the project to monitor the pace of work.
TNC correspondent in Anambra gathered that the project which is part of CBN’s Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme, AADS, attracted by Governor Obiano for infrastructure on rice and aquaculture in Anambra’s three senatorial districts, worth 1.5 billion naira, was designed to have a fifty bed capacity hostel, three hundred fish ponds and an industrial borehole system to have a 12 to 8 inch casings.
However, a visit to the centre revealed a very shoddy job, with only 150 ponds while the foundations of the hostels were already cracked.
The borehole was also wrongly constructed with 4-inch casings.
The project which has a completion timeline of 5 months, is now in its 6th month without any meaning achievement, having been flagged off in February this year.
The Anaocha Youth Chairman of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions, ASATU Youth, Engineer Emeka Ejiofor appreciated Governor Willie Obiano for his lofty vision in attracting and awarding the projects but frowned at the quality of work being delivered by the contractors at the site.
He listed the award of the project without design, use of substandard materials, and exclusion of the Project Management Team in the supervision of the project, as inhibiting factors to the progress of the project, stating clearly that the water facility seen does not meet the specifications for the project and cannot serve.
Ejiofor accused the State Ministry of Agriculture of sabotaging the efforts of the governor at providing the facility for them.
A Youth leader from Nri community, Mr Christian Madichie acknowledged that the project should be a legacy investment that will ensure ample business opportunities and employment for the youths, but wondered why fish ponds drainage system that will constantly have water running through regularly will be built with blocks instead of concrete, decrying the poor professionalism observed in the project.
“I am disappointed with the MD of FABDA. This is supposed to be under his jurisdiction and things are going this bad. He is supposed to have raised alarm so that people will know what is happening here. It is just now that we are getting to know that he was not involved in the award of the contract and the project implementation. This is very bad,” he said.
When contacted, the Managing Director of Anambra State Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency, FABDA, Mr Emeka Iloghalu who revealed that the Anambra Central project has approved fund of about 265 million naira, said the agency had developed the concept and designs but was excluded from the implementation.
“We in FABDA, are empowered by the law to set standards for fisheries and aquaculture activities and projects in the state. We did the design, the concept and set the standards for the project. We placed the entire thing at the table at a meeting of all the agencies and the Agriculture Ministry involved in the project and we were assured that our design will be followed. Unfortunately we were not involved in the award of the contract and the project supervision,” Iloghalu pointed out.
He revealed that he had made several visits to the site and tried to make observations on how to correct the anomaly on ground but no meaningful progress was being achieved.
According to him, the observations made by the youths were not about indictment or witch-hunting but about getting the job done properly.
When TNC Correspondent spoke with the Commissioner for Agriculture, Nnamdi Onukwuba, he explained that the project was delayed due to lack of funds.
Onukwuba who insisted that the project was going on as planned, questioned how the youths got to know about the project design, saying they are talking out of ignorance.
“Who gave them the contract papers? People just like to propagate false information. Did they come to the Ministry to verify what is contained in the contract details. There are specifications for the project and we followed the due process. So who sent them there and what did they go there to do,” he queried.
TNC correspondent also reached out to the Chairman of the Project Implementation Committee, Mr Clem Chukwuka to confirm the allegation that he was not carried along in the project, but he said he was indisposed as at the time of filing this report, as he is busy with a state function his agency is organizing.