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Find all news items directly from the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Presenting undiluted information to the general public

NIGER DELTA REGION CRITICAL, CENTRAL TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, SAYS USANI

 

The Niger Delta region has been described as very critical, crucial and central to the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration and the promises made by the government to the people of Nigeria.

 Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja, on Wednesday. He added that a retreat was to be hosted in the Presidency on Thursday with a view to reworking the economy of the entire Niger Delta region.

“The intention is to re-awaken the economy by creating opportunities in agriculture and other productive sectors in manufacturing, to enable the mass majority of the people of the Niger Delta region get engaged in productive activities of the regional economy; to create wealth and to engage people in various job opportunities.” He stressed.

The Minister recalled that the Vice President’s visits to the region recently were follow up to the President’s commitment to make sure that the region works for the benefits of the indigenes of the region.

Usani reiterated that in order to fast tract every process at ensuring that government’s pronouncements are made good for the Niger Delta region successfully, a process of re-organisation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had begun. “It will be a continuous programme until the Ministry is suitable to carry out its statutory mandate.”

The Minister opined that the year 2017 will be a year of remarkable achievements for the Federal government, as it concerned the Niger Delta region.

He also charged the contractors handling various projects in the Niger Delta region to sign-post such projects in order to show their owners, saying that any contractor who fails to adhere to such directive will be sanctioned. The Minister stressed that putting sign post was a regulation in project delivery.

On the recent alarm that was raised regarding the purchase of vehicles by the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Minister said his preliminary investigation showed that the new management did not meet any official vehicle on their assumption of duties, so they were just attempting to buy some vehicles for official use now.

“This is the extent of my investigation, when I finalise the enquiries, the report will be made public.” He added.

Pastor Usani called for the cooperation of the media to following up all the Ministry’s projects, activities and programmes, for the benefits of the people and residents of the Niger Delta region and Nigerians in general.

 

                                                    

                                                                     Signed

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

22nd March, 2017

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MINISTERS COMMITTED TO WORK FOR NIGERIANS- USANI

 

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has again stressed the commitment of all the cabinet Ministers in the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari to working for Nigerians, with a view to ensure a better future.

“You will not find any of our Ministers in character and actions suggesting that he is superior to any other Nigerians,” he added.

Usani made this assertion while receiving an award of excellence, for his contributions to the development of Niger Delta Region and Nigeria in general, from the Association of Nigeria Geographers in Keffi, Nasarawa State, on Wednesday.

“I really believe that when leaders are privileged to preside over the affairs of others, they should not have any excuse that it is the subordinates who misled them,” he stressed. The Minister reiterated that the philosophy of every set of people is guided by the leadership.

It would be recalled that Pastor Usani earlier in the week in his key note address at the just concluded 58th National Conference of the Association of Nigeria Geographers, also in Keffi, titled; “Appreciating Change in the Context of Globalisation: A Geographic Paradigm,” disclosed that the reason for the prevalence of poverty, hunger and inability of Nigeria economy to boom as expected was due to the decline in morals in the Nigeria governance space.

He decried a situation where crime and people of questionable characters are being celebrated in the country.

Also recognised by the Association of Nigeria Geographers under the leadership of Prof. Kayode Oyesiku included the Minister of State for Environment, Hon. Ibrahim Usman Jibril and the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Muhammed Akero Mainoma. 

In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, during an interactive session with the National Mentorship Benefactors and some Mentees from the Niger Delta region in Abuja on Wednesday, disclosed that all projects that have been awarded and executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), will undergo Technical Audit and Status Verification, to justify expenditure on such projects. 

He charged the beneficiaries who will soon be travelling abroad on mentorship programme to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and also make effective use of the resources they will get to advance their future careers.

“Every great entrepreneur started with very meager amount of money. Define your paths on what you want to do in life,” advised the minister. He noted that lack of seriousness and incompetence will not be condoned from the beneficiaries.

The Minister added that the beneficiaries require knowledge and skills to succeed in life.

Usani stressed that discussions are ongoing with different organisations from a number of countries, in order to see that many Niger Delta youths are assisted as much as possible.

In her response, the South South Cooordinator of the National Mentorship Programme, Barr. (Mrs) Uwa Ben-Ogbeide thanked the Minister for being a good driver of such a ‘wonderful programme.’

The mentorship training programme of Niger Delta youths abroad is being coordinated by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Mentorship Office headed by Mr Chika Olejeme. 

 

 

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

16th March, 2017

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NIGER DELTA MINISTRY ADVISE TO PRIORITISE ITS PROJECTS FOR EARLY COMPLETION

 

Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been advised to give priority to projects that could be funded with the 2016 budget and the proposed 2017 Appropriation in order to ensure early completion and inauguration of such projects.

The Ministry was given the advice by the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, on Thursday during the defence of 2017 budget and the implementation of that of 2016. 

At the event, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru  Usani noted that out of N19.4 billion Naira and N727.2 million appropriated to the Ministry for capital and overhead expenditures in 2016, only the sum of N8.1 billion of the Capital Appropriation has been so far released, while the sum of N525,569,190.94 was released as overhead expenditures.

The Minister also stated that the total budgetary proposal of the Ministry in year 2017 is N35, 501,382,365.00. The personnel cost was put at N1, 081,793,241), N727, 081,124.00 for overhead and N33, 692,500,000.00 for capital projects.

 “For the Ministry to successfully complete all its projects between now and 2018, we need far in excess of the 131 billion Naira we earlier requested, because on daily basis, there are recurrent issues of financial demands, coupled with inflation rate.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Pastor Usani reiterated that the Ministry had liabilities of over 28 billion naira for the past years.  He added: “We recognise that we have a responsibility for establishment of development of new projects and programmes in the Niger Delta region, in a bid to address among other agencies, the restiveness in the region.”

In his remarks, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi said Niger Delta is a very special area that contribute a lot for the development and sustenance of Nigeria.

“It is disheartening to hear that so much has been allocated to Niger Delta but little impact is seen,” Ayi lamented.

He pledged the support of his committee for the Ministry in its efforts to develop the Niger Delta region.

 

 

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

10th February, 2017

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MINISTRIES OF NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS, PETROLEUM, AMNESTY OFFICE, IOCs, OTHERS, SYNERGISE ON NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT

 

Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources, Presidential Amnesty Office, International Oil and Gas Companies (IOCs) and the Nine States in the Niger Delta region are forming a synergy to ensure a coordinated plan for sustainable peace and development of the Niger Delta region.

The decision was taken at a meeting of stakeholders in the Niger Delta region hosted by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister said that the import of the meeting was to have a compact strategy on issues relating to development in the Niger Delta region. He stressed that the meeting which will be holding quarterly would involve Federal and state governments and the private sector in order to develop a stronger partnership for development.

“We have agreed that we   will no longer have discordant tunes of development efforts because functioning independently has reasonably amounted to abandonment of projects because it is assumed that people do not know who is responsible for what. But right now, from the common pool, we can hold particular agencies responsible.” He reiterated.

Usani stressed that the meeting was organised to among other issues, enable the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs make its mandate clearer for better cooperation and synergy; avail it the opportunity to have detailed information regarding the plans and programmes of the International Oil and Gas Companies for the development of the Niger Delta region, as well as to proffer solution to the menace of militancy and engender investment opportunities to create job  for the teeming unemployed youths in the Niger Delta region.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu revealed that a programme involving the state governments in the Niger Delta region, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, his Ministry, Presidential Amnesty Office, Oil and Gas Companies and other relevant stakeholders, would soon be rolled out to give room for jobs, contracts, business opportunities in the oil rich region.

Similarly, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. General Paul Boroh (rtd) noted that about 30,000 ex-militants trained by his office were available for engagement by oil companies and other companies that were willing to engage them.

He added that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has achieved a lot due to understanding it has had with various ministries and leaders of the ex-agitators.

In his view, the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Jeff Ewing said oil companies were in a challenging time, saying that they were concerned about the safety of their oil installations in the Niger Delta region, so they could generate  enough revenue for the federal government of Nigeria.

Mr. Jeff added that oil companies appreciated the importance of working with host communities, Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs, Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies, to ensure sustainable peace in the region.

However, the Managing Director of Total Nigeria, Niclas Terraz said there was need to continue to work hard for a cordial relationship with oil communities and government. “We know what we are doing and what we could do better,” he added.   

 

Signed

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

31st January, 2017

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MINISTER URGES NIGER DELTA YOUTH ORGANISATIONS TO UNITE

 

 

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has advised all youth organisations in the Niger Delta region to coalesce into one umbrella body.

Usani said the coalition will give room for legitimacy to such a body for interactions with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Hitherto, there have been several youth organisations operating under different umbrellas in the Niger Delta region, making it difficult for government to know which of the groups to recognise and deal with.

 

 

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

19th January, 2017

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USANI SEEKS EU’S SUPPORT ON ETHICAL ORIENTATION IN NIGER DELTA

 

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has solicited the support of the European Union to organise collaborative summits at different levels, for proper orientation of the people and residents of the Niger Delta region.

The Minister made the appeal in Abuja on Tuesday at a meeting with a delegation of the European Union (EU) on Safe Water and Sanitation Intervention Programme in the Niger Delta region.

Usani opined that if the people imbibe such ethical and moral orientation and enlightenment, it would be the foundation of building a society where public facilities were taken as community projects and ownership for maintenance and sustenance.

The European Union (EU) delegation was in the Ministry to arrange the processes of implementing the financial agreement for the takeoff of the EU Safe Water and Sanitation Programme for about 800 selected communities of the Niger Delta region in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers States.

The Minister recalled that in June 2016, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the European Union and various stakeholders met in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, where state governments in the region were informed on the need to pay a counterpart funding of 30 per cent for the water and sanitation Programme in the Niger Delta Region. The European Union is to provide the remaining 70 per cent for the execution of the programme.

He reiterated that out of the five (5) states that were captured in the current phase of the intervention programme-Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers; only Rivers was yet to make a commitment for the payment of the counterpart funding. He assured that Rivers State would fulfill its obligation in terms of the counterpart fund. He added that the Ministry will intensify efforts at ensuring that all the benefiting states fulfilled their own parts of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) within the stipulated time.

Usani called for future direct engagement of the Ministry on European Development Fund (EDF) and other support Programmes for the realisation of its mandate for the nine (9) states in the Niger Delta region on health, sustainable energy and access to electricity, rule of law, governance and democracy.

In his remarks, the leader of the EU delegation, Mr. Kurt Cornelis expressed delight over the response of the five states for the takeoff of Water and sanitation programme in the Niger Delta region. Cornelis pledged the support of the European Union for Nigeria as a matter of priority, in curbing the challenges of insurgency, power and other related issues affecting the country.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola thanked the European Union for the decision to collaborate with the five states in the Niger Delta region to provide fund for the water and sanitation programme.

Prof. Daramola requested for the inclusion of the remaining four states in the Niger Delta region which were not captured in this phase of the programme: Ondo, Cross River, Abia and Imo States, in the next phase of the programme.

 

Signed

Marshall Gundu

Director Press

 

18th January, 2016

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SYNERGY  AND  COLLABORATION  NEEDED  TO  ADDRESS  SOCIAL  AND  INFRASTRUCTURAL  CHALLENGES  IN  NIGER  DELTA  REGION-  USANI

 

Synergy  and collaboration  among  stakeholders  and  development  partners  are  necessary  to   address  the  challenges  of  providing  social  and  infrastructural  needs  for  the  people  of  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

The  Minister  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs,   Pastor  Usani  Uguru  Usani  made  the  remark   in  Owerri,  Imo  State at  a  workshop  for  the  validation  of  the  report  of  a  baseline  survey  of  social  and   infrastructural  resource  base  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

The  minister  advised  the  workshop  participants  to  review  the  report   of  the   survey critically with  a  view  to  come  out  with a  final  document  that  could  be  used  to  attract  interests  and  funds  for  the  provision  of  social  and  infrastructural  facilities  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

The  workshop  was  organised   by  the  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs  in  collaboration  with  the  United  Nations  Development  Program.

The  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs  and  the  United  Nations  Development  Program   commissioned  a  consulting  firm, the  African Centre  for  Shared  Development  Capacity  Building  to  carry  out  the  baseline  survey.

Pastor  Usani  commended United  Nations  Development  Program  for  funding  the  survey  of  the  baseline  report  and  the  workshop  for  the  validation  of  the  survey, adding  that the  support  would  fast track  developmental  efforts  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

The  minister  noted  that  when  the  survey  on  the  baseline  report  was  finally  ratified  and  okayed  for  use   by  stakeholders it  would  help  reduce  duplication  of  projects  by  government  agencies,  stakeholders  and  development  partners  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

He  requested  that  the  United  Nations  Development  Program  should  also  help  in  training  staff  of  the  Ministry  of  Niger Delta  Affairs  in  some  critical  areas  of  its  operation  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

Pastor  Usani  advised  that government  agencies,  stakeholders  and   development  partners  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region  should  always  carry  along  benefiting  communities  of  projects  for  them to  have  a  sense  of  belonging  in  the  developmental  efforts.

The   minister  disclosed  at  the  event  that  President  Muhammadu  Buhari  has  given  approval  for  the Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs  to  supervise  the  activities  and  programmes  of  the  Niger  Delta  Development  Commission (NDDC).

In  his  remark  at  the  event, the  Minister  of  State  for  Niger  Delta  Affairs, Prof. Claudius  Omoleye  Daramola    commended  the  consultant  of  the project, Prof. Olu  Ajakaiye  for  the  survey  and  stressed  the  need  for  such  a  research  to  be  done  periodically   in  order  to  appraise  how  far  the  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs, other  government  agencies,  stakeholders  and  development  partners  have  done  in  the  provision  of  social  and  infrastructural  facilities  for  the  people  of  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

In  a  goodwill  message   at   the  event,  the  Statistician  General  of  the  Federation, Dr. Yemi  Kale,  who  was  represented  by  Alesanmi  Folorunso  said  that  the  report  will  bring  to  the  limelight  some  of  the  hidden  truths  about  the  Niger  Delta  Region  which  have  been  buried  in  political  bias  and  tribal  sentiments.

He  noted  that  statistics  are  numerical  facts  that cannot  be  controverted.  He   added  that  without  valid  statistics  we  cannot    make  well-informed  decisions  that  will  catalyse  social  and  economic  development  as  well  as  plan  for  the  future  generations  of  the  Niger  Delta  Region.

Dr. Kale noted  that  a  validation  workshop  of  this  nature  affords  relevant  stakeholders  the  avenue  to  make  valid  inputs  in  the  process  of  data  production  so  that  when  the  final  report  is  produced, it  will  receive  the  acceptability  of  all.

Prof. Olu  Ajakaiye  while  presenting  an  overview  of  the  baseline  survey  of  the social  and  infrastructural  resource  base  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region  disclosed  that  the  survey  focused  on: Education- Primary/Secondary  schools;  Health-  Primary/ Secondary  facilities;  Water and  Sanitation;  Transport- Road, Air, Water/Maritime;  Power.

According  to  Prof.  Ajakaiye  the  outcome  of  the  survey  included  the  following:  the  Niger  Delta  Region  is  relatively  under-served  with  respect  to  key  social and  infrastructural  facilities  such  as  functional  primary  and  secondary  schools,  health  facilities,  water  and  sanitation,  transportation,  power  supply;  there  is  a  clear  need  for  massive  increase  in  the  stock  of  social  and  infrastructural  facilities  in  the  region;  the  existing  stuck  of  social  and  infrastructural  facilities  should  be  made  more  functional  with   quality  services; electricity  distribution  facilities  were  indicated  to  be  available  in  most  of  the  states  of  the  region  but  they  are  not  quite  functional  and  the  electricity  users  are  generally  unsatisfied.

Prof. Ajakaiye  advised   that  in  order  to  address   the  challenges  of  availability, functionality  and  low  quality  of  services  provided  by  existing  social  and  infrastructural  facilities  in  the  Niger  Delta  Region,  a  comprehensive  needs  assessment  survey  of  all  existing  educational,  water and  sanitation, transport  and  electricity  distribution  facilities  in  each  of  the  nine  Niger  Delta  States  was  required.

Participants  at  the  workshop  were  from  the  Ministry  of  Niger  Delta  Affairs, the  United  Nations  Development  Program, the  National  Bureau  of  Statistics,  Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross  River,  Bayelsa,  Delta,  Edo,  Imo,  Ondo  and  Rivers  States,  the  Consulting  firm for  the  survey.

It  was  noted  that  there  was a  need  to  do  a  baseline  survey  on  the  housing  needs  of  the  people  of  the  Niger  Delta  Region  in  future  in  order  to  address  that  challenge.

Participants  from  the  states  raised  some  issues  on  the  findings  of  the  baseline  survey  and  requested  for  a  period  of  two  weeks   for reconciliation  of   some  facts  and  figures   before  the  final  validation  of  the  survey  which  was  granted.

 

Marshall  H. Gundu

Director( Press & Public  Relations)

November 6, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

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NIGER DELTA MINISTRY, WORLD BANK TO COLLABORATE ON COASTAL AREAS DEVELOPMENT

 
Efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the people living in the coastal communities of the Niger Delta is in sight as the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the World Bank are entering into partnership to develop a masterplan on the development and protection of the areas.
This collaboration is coming as a response to the need to encourage economic activities in the Niger Delta region, as well as to protect it from further environmental degradation.
This was disclosed when the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani played host to a delegation of the World Bank Group, led by Dahlia Lotayef in Abuja, on Monday.
“This visit is a fall out of the meeting on West Africa Coastal Areas Management Programme held in Lome, Togo, recently”, the Minister said.
Pastor Usani reiterated that the Ministry would look into deliberations at the just concluded summit with the purpose of finding ways of utilizing them to develop and enhance economic and social activities in the coastal areas of the Niger Delta region.
He stressed that the livelihood of the people in the coastal areas of the Niger Delta region depends largely on maritime activities, hence the need for the World Bank to align the promotion and protection of agricultural activities into its programmes in the region.
“Niger Delta region does not cover the entire coastal areas of Nigeria, so it is imperative that the West Africa Coastal Areas Development Programme (WACA) considers improving the economic activities in the various sectors of all the coastal communities in Nigeria”, Usani said. 
In her remarks, the leader of the delegation, Dahlia Lotayef said the West Africa Coastal Areas Management Programme (WACA) was established by the World Bank in 2015 in response to demand from the countries in the region to manage their growing   coastal erosion and flooding problems.
According to her, “WACA is designed to improve the livelihoods of the coastal communities in West Africa by reducing the vulnerability of its coastal areas and promoting climate-resilient integrated coastal management.”
“The programme’s mix of technical assistance and investments will seek to preserve and rehabilitate the natural coastal resources essential for livelihoods, spur economic development ,increase social welfare and support the sustainable development of key growth sectors, such as agro-industry, fisheries, offshore petroleum exploration/production  and tourism”, she added.
 
                                                                                                                                    Signed
Marshall Gundu
Director Press
25th October, 2016

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PROJECT AUDIT WAS TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY – SAYS USANI

 

The Committee set up by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani to audit all the projects of the Ministry in the nine oil producing states of the Niger Delta region, submitted its report in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Pastor Usani, while receiving the report from the Committee, said the report was not to witch-hunt anybody but just to ensure transparency, accountability and to see that the various projects of the Ministry serve the purposes for which they were put in place, for the benefits of the Niger Delta people.

“The origin of this audit committee was based on the discovery that things were not done properly, so the committee members were carefully selected to audit the projects,” he reiterated.

The Minister disclosed that the Ministry suspended all payments to contractors pending the outcome of the audit report being submitted by the Committee.

He stated that the report would be subjected to proper scrutiny and appropriate actions would be taken against contractors found wanting by the audit report.

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola thanked the Committee for a job well done, adding that all the projects being executed by the Ministry currently were all inherited projects.

In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Alo Willaims Nwankwo stated that the Ministry thought it wise to inaugurate the technical committee to inspect the quantity and quality of the projects of the Ministry in the Niger Delta region as a result of the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to ensure that things were done according to the extant rules in the country.

 The Chairman of the Projects Audit Committee, Engineer Yerima Bulama, thanked the Management of the Ministry for the opportunity given to his committee to access the projects being undertaken by the Ministry since inception from 2009 to date in the Niger Delta region.

Yerima said part of the committee’s discoveries was that about seven hundred billion naira (700bn) worth of projects were being handled by Ministry since inception, out of which payment of about 400bn naira was made, as about 200bn was still required to complete all the projects.

The committee also observed that due process was not followed in awarding most of the contracts. The recommendation of the committee include the following: The ministry should ensure that future projects pass through proper procurement process; that a cost effective unit be established in the ministry and also that the federal government should guide against duplication of projects by government agencies in the Niger Delta region.

The 12 member technical audit committee was inaugurated by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani on April 8, 2016.

 

    Signed

MARSHALL GUNDU

Director (Press)

 

23rd August, 2016.

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CONTRIBUTE TO  FOOD SECURITY, DEVELOPMENT OF MSMEs IN THE NIGER DELTA, USANI CHARGES TRAINEES

 Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has charged women and youths from the Niger Delta region, who were trained by the Ministry on commercial snail farming,  entrepreneurship and Information, Communication Technology (ICT), to use the knowledge and skills gathered from the training to contribute to the food security and the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in the region. 

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, gave this charge at a graduation ceremony of the training and empowerment programme for 64 women and youths from the Niger Delta region, held at The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday. 

"This is one of the initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to diversify the economy, increase food security and generate employment for women and youths, in the Niger Delta region", he stressed. 

Usani disclosed that the training and empowerment package was put together to among other benefits; "Enable the trainees to be self-employed, engage others, manage businesses for effective enterprise development and be able to generate income for their families." 

In his remarks, Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Prof. Olatunde Fawole commended the Federal Government for the right step taken to train and empower Niger Delta youths and women, saying his institution would continue to welcome such a training programme. 

Prof Fawole urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to continue to enrol more youths in training of this nature, which he said was capable of arresting cases of youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region. 

The training consultant, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, said: "The graduands have all been well trained to world class standards in the vocations they were schooled in- Information and Communication Technology and Commercial Snail Farming." 

The participants expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the training and empowerment programme, saying they were looking forward to the extension of same to other youths and women in the region. 

Highlights of the event included the presentation of training certificates, payment of  a start-up capital of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000)  and one laptop each, for the trainees, while those who did not collect laptop received the sum of Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000), and other relevant materials that would aid them in setting up their businesses. 




                                                                     Signed 

                                                               Marshall Gundu 
                                                                Director (Press) 
                                                             20th August, 2016
 

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MINISTER DECRIES UNDER-REPRESENTATION OF NIGER DELTA INDIGENES IN ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY, AGENCIES.

 
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has stated that indigenes of Niger Delta region were not adequately treated for employment into the Federal Ministry of Environment and its agencies, such as National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Environment Agency.
Pastor Usani disclosed this during a courtesy visit to his office by the delegation of the Federal Character Commission’s Committee on Environment, led by Chief Emmanuel Ebimami, JP on Tuesday.
The Minister called on the Federal Character Commission (FCC), to exercise its constitutional powers towards ensuring that indigenes of Niger Delta were not shortchanged in recruitment to federal government ministries, departments and agencies.
He also pledged a robust working relationship between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the federal character commission towards the fulfilment of the latter’s mandate.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Chief Emmanuel Ebimami, said the visit was necessitated by the need to acquaint the minister with the mandate of the Federal Character Commission, introduce the new members of the Committee on Environment, enlighten him on the principles, formulae and procedures for recruitment and also to discuss the level of the ministry’s compliance with the federal character commission’s guiding principles and formulae.
Chief Ebimami noted that one of the problems facing the country was unequal distribution of facilities among different groups in the country, which was part of the reasons for the setting up of the commission-to address such anomalies.
He urged the Minister to ensure his ministry’s compliance to the principle of Federal Character in all its dealings.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alo Williams Nwankwo, thanked the federal character commission officials, saying their coming had further opened the ministry’s eyes to what it should be doing.
 
 
He reiterated that the observed injustice to the Niger Delta indigenes, mentioned by the Honourable Minister, should be addressed by the commission.
 
 
Signed
Marshall H. Gundu
Director (Press)
August 16, 2016.

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NIGERIA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA TO COLLABORATE ON ECONOMIC, SECURITY ISSUES - USANI 


Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are to strengthen bilateral relations on economic and security issues for the wellbeing of both countries and their citizens. 

The Minister of Niger Delta of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani made this disclosure in Abuja while playing host to the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to Nigeria, Mr. Job Obiang Esono Mbengono, on Monday. 

Pastor Usani appreciated the visit of the Guinean Ambassador, recalling that the bi- literal security agreement between the two countries in March, 2016. He noted that  that collaboration of maritime security between the two countries demands commitment based on their strategic location in the Gulf of Guinea. 

The Minister also noted that some Nigerian investors are making enquiries on how to invest in Equatorial Guinea. 

Pastor Usani revealed that a platform will soon be created to ease investment between investors from both countries, as a means of improving their economies. 

The Minister also disclosed that there were investment opportunities in maritime, coastal and manufacturing, among others, for Equatorial Guinea investors in Nigeria. 

In his remarks, the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea said that his country is 'very interested in things that happen in the Niger Delta', as happenings in the region affect his country. 

He added that one of the aims of his visit was to find areas his country could invest in Nigeria. Mbengono, who congratulated Nigeria on the 'Ogoni clean-up exercise', said that it was an indication of the receptiveness of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the yearnings of the people from the region. 

He also commended the Federal Government on the measures put in place to address the resurgence of militancy activities in the Niger Delta region. 


Signed 

MARSHALL GUNDU 
DIRECTOR PRESS
8TH AUGUST, 2016

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Fax : +234 80 235 5392
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