Judge me by my legacy not what my critics say – Akpabio

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, has stated that he desires to be judged by the legacy he would leave behind and not by what critics say.

The Minister stated this during the courtesy visit of the Alumni of the University of Calabar led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Florence Banku Obi, recently in his office in Abuja.

While receiving the ‘Distinguished UNICAL Ambassador Award’ conferred on him by the Vice Chancellor of Unical, Akpabio stated that the award is an indication of his unceasing commitment towards infrastructural development and commitment to the growth of humanity.

According to him, “this award is not ordinary but one that recognizes my antecedents inspite of all manner of political misinterpretations and blackmails”.

While expressing his gratitude to the Unical Alumni, the Minister dedicated the award to all politicians, who pass through ‘smear campaigns of politics’ like him and still remain focused.

Senator Akpabio further stated that the Ministry would collaborate with UNICAL and relevant stakeholders to end the menace of insecurity especially in the waterways and restore the decayed infrastructure in the institution.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo, in his welcome address noted that the Minister who graduated from UNICAL in 1986 has been a great achiever and the Ministry is privileged to have him at the helm of affairs.

Babayo said the “Ministry is undergoing a silent revolution and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is being repositioned to achieve greater heights. Adding that the Ministry has recently commissioned the NDDC Headquarters in Rivers and over 30 completed projects are awaiting commissioning.

The Vice Chancellor, UNICAL, Prof. Florence Banku Obi, stated that the conferment of Distinguished Alumni Ambassador Award of the Institution to Sen. Akpabio was based on his outstanding achievement and contribution to the university and humanity.

In his address, the Director, ALUMNI Affairs, University of Calabar, Professor Ernest Bassey Asikong, stated Sen. Akpabio’s appointment as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari was “a clear recognition of his trajectories of good leadership potentials, administrative competencies, political ingenuity, doggedness and uncommon transformer amongst other qualities”.

Asikong, represented by Barrister Paul Eshiemomoh, asserted that Niger Delta region would experience sustainability development considering Sen. Akpabio’s wealth of experience as a former two term Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and several other leadership positions the Minister had occupied in life.

The Director, Alumni Affairs, UNICAL stated that the Minister’s open door policies, transparent leadership, and humble disposition have endeared him to all, hence the need to recognize him as a Distinguished Alumnus of University of Calabar. Going down memory lane, he noted that Sen. Akpabio was a distinguished parliamentarian (Speaker of the Parliament) and Student activist of the Student Union Government (SUG).

Prof. Asikong noted the Minister’s contributions to the school as an Alumnus, which include aiding the completion of the Engineering block of the University and other intervention projects- the construction of hostel block by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He however, stated that like ‘Oliver Twist’ the institution calls on the Minister to use his good office to assist the University at the Qua River Water front with speed boats for regular patrol to curb the menace of kidnapping in the institution. Other areas include completion of the collapse Alumni building and provision of a utility vehicle for the Directorate of Alumni Affairs which has been a major challenge amongst others.

Deworitshe Patricia
D (Press & PR)
April 10, 2021

Niger Delta set to become the Agricultural hub of the nation

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has stated the willingness of the Ministry to partner with Agricultural Experts from Cambodia to improve food production in the region through cultivation and processing of special brand of rice specie that is embedded with nutrients, that can address diabetics issues among Nigerians.

The Minister made this statement when he met with Agricultural Experts from Cambodia who paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Thursday 25th March, 2021 in Abuja.

According to Sen. Akpabio, the introduction of Integrated Agricultural Products and Services Project to the region would not only address the issue of hunger through improved food production, but it will go a long way to changing the socio-economic status of the people of the region and Nigeria as a whole.

Sen. Akpabio maintained that he was convinced that there is much to benefit from the agricultural project for the people of the region and stressed the need for the Ministry to revisit the Agricultural Partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make funds available to kick-start the production of rice variety in the region.

The Minister, therefore, mandated the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo to immediately set-up a team to go into technical Session with the experts from Cambodia and come up with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), so that the ‘Pilot Scheme’ can commence.

In his remarks, Minister of State, MNDA, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura assured Niger Deltans that the Ministry intends to reel the people from temporal projects to sustainable projects and programmes with greater emphasis on agriculture.

Alasoadura stated that the Ministry believe that agriculture as a project, if adequately exploited, the South-South region would be able to feed the nation and export food produce.

Earlier, the Leader of Delegation, Mr. Peter Ojong Brown said that the organisation is into Agricultural Products and Services, noting that the production of Special Rice specie could be cultivated and harvested within 90 days.

He also disclosed that the organization is into planting of special Breed of Grass for Ranching, Construction and Fabrication of Ranches for prescribed number of Cows within the State, adding that the company also converts Cow Dunk into Biogas for power generation.

Brown added, “we have specialist that handle and train farmers on how to manage Technology Transfer Scheme”, noting that the organization is already in Cross River State to initiate the ‘Pilot Farm Scheme’.

Deworitshe Patricia
D (Press & PR)
March 26, 2021

Akpabio charges BPSR to do more in promoting Ethics in the Civil Service

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio has charged the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPRS) to do more by embarking on a more comprehensive reforms that is geared towards promoting the ethics of the Civil Service by inculcating efficiency and effectiveness on the job.

Senator Akpabio made this pronouncement when the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi paid him a courtesy visit in his office recently.

While appreciating the BPSR for embarking on Public Service Reforms, Akpabio noted that the ongoing Forensic Audit being carried out at the NDDC is part of Government reform agenda to reposition the Commission for greater service delivery to the Niger Delta region considering the financial irregularities and duplication of projects that has characterized the Commission over the years.

Speaking further, the Minister explained that no country would develop when it has not been able to tackle the issue of corruption. He therefore charged the Director-General BPSR to ensure that the reforms carried out in the Financial and Procurement Sector should be replicated at the State level to block all financial leakages.

“Your reforms must also touch the Educational sector considering the importance of this sector to National development. The BPSR has to do more in bringing the civil service to perfection by protecting the leakages of Government classified documents and also in the area of training and retraining of staff in the Public Service to promote efficiency and effectiveness on the job”, he said.

The Minister of State, MNDA, Sen. Tayo Alasoadura assured the Director-General that the Ministry would do all within its purview to support the ongoing reforms in the Public Service aimed at a better and improved performance.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, (MNDA), Dr. Babayo Ardo, commended the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi for his astuteness and doggedness in driving the reform agenda of the Federal Government . He noted that the multiple activities of the Bureau of which the ‘Monthly Lunch Hour Time Reform Seminars and Retreats’ are not the least rather it has greatly helped to constantly put Reform issues on the front burner of Public discourse.

The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs web site was ranked 37th out of 170 MDAs that participated in the latest exercise of 2019/2020 while that of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a parastatal under the Ministry’s supervision occupied the 75th position. The report has been forwarded to the Minister, who directed that efforts be made to improve the Ministry’s websites. The preliminary works such as peer review of MDAs websites have already started.

According to Dr. Ardo, the Ministry, resorting to observing the COVID-19 protocols holds certain Management meetings virtually, thereby helping Government to cut cost.

“In the area of monthly lecture series, which is been held virtually, I am particularly glad to say that this in-house capacity building programme hinged on reform agenda has improved the Ministry’s Service delivery as well as encourage cost effectiveness”, he said.

The Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dr. Dasuki Arabi explained that the Bureau was created in 2004 to serve as the engine room and coordinating agency for reforms at the Federal level. He added that the Bureau is mandated to look at ways to encourage Public Servants to improve on the quality of service received by Nigerians and the success recorded by the Institution has enabled some of the Agencies to be rated among the best in the world.

Deworitshe Patricia,
D (Press & PR),
March 22, 2021

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