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Buhari commissions new NDDC headquarters

President Muhammadu Buhari says the inauguration of the new headquarters building of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, marks an important milestone in his administration’s effort to reposition the Commission for the overall development of the Niger Delta region.

Speaking at the virtual commissioning of the new headquarters complex at the Marine Base, Port Harcourt, President Buhari, observed that the new headquarters building was initiated by the defunct Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, in 1996.

Buhari said: “In 2015, as part of my administration’s objectives, we started a holistic reform of the NDDC for greater service delivery for the people of the region. To achieve this goal, I reassigned the supervision of the NDDC to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for administrative efficiency.

“Second, was the appointment of Forensic Auditors to review the operations of the NDDC from inception to 2019 to ensure that appropriations made to the NDDC are commensurate with what is on ground.”

The President commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for providing the required leadership that saw to the completion of the office complex, noting that money spent on rent would now be saved and deployed to other areas of needs to the region.

Buhari said: “I commend the management and staff of the NDDC for staying on course and keying into the development agenda of my administration. I am particularly pleased to note the cordial relationship between the NDDC and the National Assembly and hope that this relationship will be strengthened for the benefits of the people of the Niger Delta region.”

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said that he was the first minister to visit the new headquarters when it was under construction.

He noted that for over 15 years the old headquarters on Aba Road was not connected to the national grid and thanked the President for making it possible for this anomaly to be halted.

Akpabio declared: “The President deserves a big reward for showing love to the people of the Niger Delta. I also thank the Interim Administrator and the former Managing Directors of the NDDC for their efforts to see to the completion of the new headquarters.”

In his welcome address, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, commended President Buhari, the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs and members of the defunct Interim Management Committee for a job well done.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer thanked the President for reassigning of NDDC to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, stating that the office complex stood as a monument to what Niger Delta people stood for, as “a people who are strong and resolute.”

“It is noteworthy to observe that President Buhari, in a demonstration of the remarkable political will, initiated three major policies that impacted positively on the speedy completion of this project.”

First was the re-assignment of the supervision of the NDDC to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Then second, was the appointment of forensic auditors to review the activities of the Commission form inception up to the year 2019. With the forensic audit exercise, it can no longer be business as usual in the Commission.

Third was the policy direction for the completion of all abandoned projects which have positive impact on the people. The completion of this edifice is, therefore, a direct consequence of Mr President’s focused policy direction.”

I specially commend the Governor of Rivers State and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs who turned Mr. President’s directive into completion of the project.

Speaking on behalf of the governors of the nine Niger Delta states, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinnma, expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the realisation of the new headquarters.

He said that credit must be given to President Buhari for making the project a reality, stating: “With the completion of the new headquarters, the NDDC will stop the money being wasted on rents and channel it to more productive ventures.

The governor commended President Buhari for setting up a forensic audit and appointing an Interim Administrator to manage the NDDC until the end of the forensic audit.

In his goodwill message, the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, said he was pleased to be part of commissioning of what he described as a magnificent complex. “This is the right step in the right direction, we the chiefs and elders of the Niger Delta stand behind the President and the leadership of the NDDC,” he said.

#EndSARS protests: Shun violence, embrace peace – Akpabio to N’Delta youths

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has appealed to the youth of the Niger Delta region to shun violence and embrace peace in the wake of the nationwide #EndSARS protests.

Akpabio, who led a Federal Government delegation to Uyo, Akwa Ibom, made the appeal at the stakeholders’ conference comprising the youth in Uyo on Saturday.

He said that he was saddened by the violence that was caused by hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protests to cause wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties.

The minister called on Niger Delta youths to shun acts capable of truncating the peace in the region, while urging the youth to embrace programmes and policies rolled out by the President aimed at addressing the challenges of the region.

The Nation reported that Akpabio, who was accompanied by other government officials from the state including Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, said they were in Akwa Ibom at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking, the minister urged youths of the state to embrace peace as President Buhari was committed to meeting their demands with regard to police reforms.

Akpabio mentioned that the FG was doing a lot in terms of job creation and development of key economic infrastructure in the state and the Niger Delta region.

He asked youths of the state to take advantage of social and economic job intervention programmes of the FG, adding that the Buhari administration is desirous of combating poverty and unemployment in the country.

Akpabio said the #EndSARS protest was capable of scaring away existing and expected investors with the negative economic effects on the state and the region.

He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel and other governors for setting up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to address concerns of victims of SARS brutality, adding that the FG was ready to work with governors to achieve justice for victims.

The Minister urged all those who have lost their properties in the Thursday carnage to channel their petitions to the judicial commission of enquiry.

The Minister said, “We have gone round and seen the level of destruction in the state, it is a sordid sight. People were working in all these places they destroyed. This is very sad and regrettable. This must stop. I am constrained to address you on the #EndSARS protests which started peacefully but turned into mayhem and criminality.

“The Federal Government is very serious in addressing the yearnings of the proper #EndSARS protesters but condemned the wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties. The youth should know that they are the leaders of tomorrow and should not cut short their life through criminality.

“We are appealing to the youth to cease the protest and come to the table and go into dialogue. We are very proud of our youths.”

In the same vein, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Sen. Ita Enang, condemned the wanton destruction of lives and properties by miscreants under the guise of the “EndSARS. He urged the youth of the region to maintain the peace and avoid any destruction of public or private property.

Enang urged all those with genuine complaints to avail themselves of the Judicial Committee of Inquiry to address them.

 

 

 

 

How we’ll develop the Niger Delta- Akpabio

The newly appointed Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Minister of State, Mr. Festus Keyamo have resumed with the pledge to develop and positively change the narratives of the Niger Delta, in line with the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision.

The New Vision for the Niger Delta is designed to “develop a new and prosperous Niger Delta through the Federal Government’s forthright partnerships with State Governments, the Private Sector and Local Communities.”

At a reception organised by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and management staff in Abuja on Wednesday, the Ministers said they were prepared to leave huge footprints of success stories in the ministry with developmental projects that would address the needs of the people.

Akpabio said the issues of capacity building, inadequate infrastructure, poverty alleviation, youth restiveness, entrepreneurship, environmental degradation, amongst others, will be tackled head-on.

According to newspaper reports, Akpabio pledged to work harmoniously with the Minister of State to ensure that they lived up to the expectations of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Akpabio added that he loved leaving marks anywhere he worked and called on staff and management of the Ministry to ‘put all hands on deck to ensure that our developmental efforts yield fruits’.

He said, “I love leaving marks wherever I visit, it is a great privilege on our part being selected to work with you, to see how we can turn around the fortunes of the Niger Delta region.

“Of course you know why this ministry was set up, specifically that region would have been like a golden egg, but has been neglected for long. If not because we’re just coming for the first time, I would have asked for your achievements so far, especially in the areas of construction of bridges, employment and others.

“Being a Niger Delta person, I will ensure that things are better for further and effective development of the region. So, the president is looking forward to commissioning a lot of projects in the Niger Delta region. I believe the Niger Delta region and its people, they are looking forward to the alleviation of poverty in their lives and transformation of infrastructure.”

In the same vein, Keyamo pledged to give his best in appreciation of the confidence repose in him by President Buhari.