MINISTRY OF NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS RESPONSE TO JOI NUNIEH ON THE ALLEGATION THAT THE HONOURABLE MINISTER, MINISTRY OF NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS DECEIVED THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL ON THE 2020 BUDGET OF THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to a press interview granted by Joi Nunieh, the erstwhile Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Friday, July 10, 2020 for which she alleged to have declined to accompany the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on a procurement memorandum for which she claimed would amount to a deceit of the FEC to support the presentation of a memorandum for which there was no approved appropriation/budget.
2. To the contrary, Ms. Joi Nunieh is aware that a component part of the NDDC Budget comes from the annual national appropriation, as a single line Vote and of which the 2020 Appropriation Act signed into law by the President on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 and which went into force on January 1, 2020 provided the sum of N80.88billion for NDDC. Earlier in October, 2019, the President had approved the funding of the Forensic Audit exercise by N2.5billion to be sourced from the budget of the NDDC.
3. With the coming into force of the 2020 Appropriation Act, the NDDC had the requisite funding to execute the approval of the President. Hence, there was no deceit or ambiguity in the presentation of the memorandum in February, 2020 to the Federal Executive Council. Accordingly, it only amounts to playing the ostrich for the Ms. Joi Nunieh to attribute her failure to attend the Federal Executive Council meeting of February 12, 2020 to the absence of a budget.
4. For the records, the erstwhile Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Ms.Joi Nunieh and the two (2) Acting Executive Directors of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC were earlier invited to the Federal Executive Council meeting of Wednesday, February 5, 2020 for the presentation of the Ministerial Performance Mandate Report of the Ministry and its Parastatal, the Niger Delta Development Commission for which no procurement matter was involved. Regrettably, Ms. Joi Nunieh neither acknowledged the invitation nor honoured same. It is therefore patently clear that her refusal to attend both meetings of the Federal Executive Council were not because of a lack of budget as she alleged and would want the public to believe, but simply a serial act of insubordination and refusal to accept lawful directives.
5. Accordingly, the Ministry wishes to state without prejudice that the allegation made by Ms. Joi Nunieh is patently false, inaccurate and misleading. It is to be emphasized that the Honourable Minister and the Ministry will not engage in any act to deceive or mislead the Federal Executive Council.
6. The Ministry, therefore wishes to inform stakeholders and the general public to disregard and discard the comments made by Ms. Joi Nunieh in this circumstance as tissue of lies.
D (Press & Public Relations)
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
July 15, 2020