The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has blamed the delay in the completion of three of its projects in the Niger Delta area on interference by the leaders of the areas.
Mr Kalu Otisi, spokesman of PTDF said the projects, which were part of PTDF intervention mechanism, could not be completed on schedule due to incessant demands by leaders and youths of the area.
``Frequent work stoppage ordered by chiefs in the areas where the projects are located is also responsible for the delay,'' it said.
The projects awarded in 2007 included the National Technical Institute in Rivers State, Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas in Bayelsa State and the construction of secondary and primary schools in Delta state.
He said PTDF had awarded 18 contracts valued at N1.2 billion towards the development of the Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas.
Otisi said that the primary and secondary school projects suffered a setback when a staff of the construction company handling the project was taken hostage by youths of the area.
PTDF stated that community leaders had also made some demands on PTDF as a pre-condition for the resumption of work at the project sites.
It said that the clarification became necessary to clear PTDF of allegation that it was deliberately stalling government development agenda for Niger Delta by failing to execute projects as planned.