Following the protracted delay in the completion of the skills acquisition centres in the Niger Delta region, the federal government yesterday gave marching orders to the contractors to avoid further delay, and deliver  the projects or have the contracts terminated. It particularly handed down deadlines of two months and six months respectively for the completion of the centre in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, the home state of President Goodluck Jonathan and the one at Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Steve Oru, who issued the ultimatum yesterday in Abuja when he met with the contractors and consultants of the various projects, said they were summoned to iron out issues in order to facilitate the completion of the projects for inauguration this year. 

The minister explained that the meeting became imperative because he was not satisfied with the quality and pace of the projects’ execution after he embarked on an inspection tour with his Minister of State counterpart, Mr. Darius Dickson Ishaku, last week. Oru warned that if the contractors and the consultants did not live up to expectations, their contracts would be terminated and re-awarded to competent companies. The skills acquisition centres, he said, were meant to create self-employment and jobs for the youths from the region in the oil and gas industry, adding that the federal government cannot toy with the execution and completion of the projects.
According to him,  if the skills acquisition centres were completed on time and inaugurated, more people would be trained locally contrary to the present situation where few persons are trained abroad by the federal government because of the cost implications. The minister directed the contractors and consultants to liaise with the Housing and Urban Development department in his ministry to harmonise issues for the timely completion of the projects, assuring that they would be paid their balance as soon as the jobs were completed. He also admonished them to fast track the completion of the centres for the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta in particular and the country at large.

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