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Niger Delta Ministry Ready to Collaborate With NYCN - Minister

The Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has shown the ministry’s interest to collaborate with the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) to fast track the development of the Niger Delta region.

This was made known when the new Executive Council of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, led by its Deputy President, Comrade Innocent N. Nduanya paid a courtesy visit to the Honourable Minister in Abuja.

Receiving the delegation on behalf of the Honourable Minister, Director Community Development & Education Department, Mrs. Lauren Braide said that the Federal Government was determined to fast-track development of Niger Delta region through the activities, projects and programmes of Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) adding that stakeholders have been working assiduously to ensure the execution of government plans and projects in the region.

According to the Honourable Minister, the youths are critical for nation building, hence there is need for the youths to learn leadership steps and roles to ensure that the unity of Nigeria is strengthened.

He commended the new exco for the success of their election and charged them to direct their affairs accordingly for the betterment of the nation.

In his contribution, the Vice President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, South-South Geo-Political Zone, Comrade Kingsley Ibanichuka said that the major challenge in the region is getting an accurate data of the beneficiaries from the Federal Government’s empowerment programmes in the region.

He added that the National Youth Council of Nigeria is affiliated to international organsations in a bid to solve the problem of security in the Niger Delta region.

Earlier, the Deputy President of the Council commended the Minister for all his efforts towards the region, especially in youth training and empowerment programmes.

He further stated that the new exco was drawn from the six geo-political zones to achieve success.

Steven T. Kilebi
DD (Press & Public Relations)
29th November, 2018

'Only Existing Projects will be given priority in The Budget' - NASS Committee

Giving its voice to condemn the rate of uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta region, the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta has said it would emphasise the completion of existing projects in future budget considerations for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

The Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi disclosed this at the end of an oversight visit by the Committee to selected projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the region, on Friday.

"We are not impressed by the level of uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta region, that was why we have taken the pains to go round since on Tuesday, from Delta to Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and today, we are in Cross River State; to see things for ourselves, to guide us on the next budget." He stressed.

It is of note that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has not stopped to emphasise at different fora, the constraints of completing some of the projects he inherited in the Ministry since he assumed office three years ago, especially the East West road and the Skills Acquisition Centres.

Honourable Ayi lamented that his Committee was not impressed that the East West road has not been completed in spite of all financial investments on the project by the Federal Government in the last twelve years.

It would be recalled also that during an assessment tour of the East West road by the Federal Government Inter-Ministerial Committee led by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani and his colleague in the Ministry of Transportation, Rt. Honourable Rotimi Amaechi recently, it was discovered that contractors would require about 100 billion Naira to complete the East West road project.

This discovery, according to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, culminated in the Federal Government's directive that the remaining work on sections 1 to 4 of the project be trasfered from the Ministry to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (N.S.I.A) for funding.

Similarly, the House of Representatives Committee threatened to ensure that contractors who could not deliver based on the funds received, were made to face the wrath of the law, while reiterating the need for the Ministry to allocate all completed and on-going housing projects in the nine states of the region, to the end users.

The Committee opined that more efforts should be devoted by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to completing on-going projects, before introducing new ones.

"We cannot allow projects to be abandoned while new ones are being introduced every year, our emphasis will now be on completion of the existing projects in budget considerations," Ayi stressed.

In his remarks, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Femi Oloruntola attributed insufficient budgetary allocations to the Ministry, for the lingering uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta region. Oloruntola added: "The Skills acquisition centres for instance, are nine in number in the nine states of the Niger Delta region and the appropriations to these centres every year are not enough to take care of the financial requirements for their completion, so only one of them has so far been completed and handed over to the Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State."

He stressed that aside from finance which has been a major challenge of the Ministry, some contractors have not also been performing up to expectations.

It was of note that at a similar inspection tour last weekend, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Usani Uguru Usani came hard on erring contractors by threatening that his Ministry would blacklist and bar such contractors from getting further contracts in the Ministry.

Some of the projects inspected by the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta included: The East West road, from Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom States; Housing Estate at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state; Atimbo/Akpabuyo road, Bakassi Housing Estate and the Skills Acquisitions Centre at Akpabuyo in Cross River state respectively. Some of the Committee members led by the Deputy Chairman, Honourable Nasiru Ahmed were also in Ondo State for a similar exercise, within the week.

Signed
Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director (Press)
24th November, 2018

Complete Projects or face Sanctions

The House of Representatives committee on Niger Delta has warned contractors handling projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta affairs in Ondo State to complete the projects on time or face sanctions.

The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Nasiru Ahmed gave the order when he led members of the committee on oversight function to inspect projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in Ondo State this week.

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta inspected six projects in Ondo State in line with its oversight function to ensure that the contractors complied with the specifications of the projects.

During the inspection, the Deputy Chairman expressed satisfaction on the extent of work done by the contractors that handled the construction of the Solar Street light in Ode-Aye, Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.

He said “to some extent, you have given us hope despite the fact that Ode-Aye community had been in darkness for six years. With the extent of work done so far the community will have a great relief”.

Similarly, the Deputy Chairman frowned at the slow pace of work at the Ode-Aye Igbotako road, the construction of Agadagba Akotogbo-Iyasan Ovia Rivers Bridge, noting that the bridge was expected to link Ondo and Edo state. He stressed that the 2% completion rate was not acceptable and the projects were expected to be 100% completed.

The committee also raised eye brow at the slow pace of the rehabilitation of Broad Street in Ode-Aye and that of Igkokoda Zion road.

The team also visited the Skills Acquisition Centre, Agadagba- Obon whose contract was awarded in 2010, but was not yet completed after 8years.

KILEBI, STEPHEN T.
Deputy Director (Press & PR)
23rd November, 2018

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