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Funds allocated to NDDC over the years have been grossly underutilized- Akpabio

The Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, MNDA, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has disclosed that, if only thirty percent of funds allocated to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the years were judiciously utilized by former NDDC administrations, “We would have seen something on ground to alleviate the suffering of Niger Deltans”.

Senator Akpabio made this statement when a high-powered delegation of members of Petrol Station Owners Association (PESOA) Rivers State chapter paid him a courtesy call recently in his office in Abuja.

The Minister, who expressed gratitude to members of the Association, said the visit was an indication that the Ministry was not alone in the quest to reposition the NDDC and MNDA in bringing development and succour to the people.

MNDA Boss noted that he could not comprehend why Nigerians have suddenly lost their voices and have refused to ask questions concerning the activities of NDDC since 2001 despite the orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Minister, the Ministry and Mr. President.

According to Akpabio, “having a child with stunted growth definitely calls for worry at any time, hence the approval of forensic auditing by the President would not have been out of place. Why is it only now that the noise is loudest and the Parliament find it comfortable to embark on selective probe focusing on the last five months instead of taking a holistic view of its twenty years of existence in which N5 trillion would have been expended in the region without any tangible thing to show”.

On the request presented by the Association while soliciting for the co-operation of the members, the Hon. Minister assured the Association that the government would do everything to ensure that the East West road is completed and commissioned in December 2021. On the variation and revaluation of compensation, Sen. Akpabio said he would soon visit the site to have firsthand information of what was required.

In his welcome address the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Adesola Olusade noted that there was a strong reason for them to embark on this courtesy call. He said one of the achievements of the Ministry under Senator Akpabio is the accelerated completion of the NDDC Headquarters in Port-Harcourt, River State, from 45% to over 95% completion.

The Coordinator of the Association Dr. Joseph Obele expressed their profound gratitude to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for releasing the funds needed for the construction of the East-West road, which is one of the roads that contributes to the economic sustenance of the South- South region in particular and the country at large.

Obele noted that the Niger Delta region was full of excitement when the Minister was appointed to head the MNDA by the President. He said that the appointment was based on Sen. Akpabio’s record of accomplishment as the Governor of Akwa -Ibom State, adding that the Minister has left a legacy that will be remembered by generations unborn in his State as he turned the fortunes of his people around.

Speaking further, Dr. Obele requested that the Minister should use his good office to approve the revaluation of the compensation plan made six years ago concerning the 41 Petrol/filling station belonging to their members within the Eleme junction to Onne Trailer Park axis of the East- West road.

Deworitshe Patricia
D (Press & PR), 
August 21, 2020

Akpabio reassures unflinching support for initiatives aimed at Re-Positioning the Region

The Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has re-assured his unflinching support for programmes and initiatives aimed at formulating and coordinating policies for development and security of the Niger Delta region.

The Minister disclosed this at the Inaugural Monthly Reform Initiative Lecture Series held via Webinar on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

Akpabio said the core objective of the lecture series is to enhance the performance of staff of the Ministry through continuous exercise of knowledge sharing, acquisition and application.

He commended the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Adesola Olusade for his innovative idea, in spite of the limitation brought upon us by the necessity to contain and fight the novel Covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging the whole world.

The Minister appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, efforts in fighting corruption but noted that the President’s ability to deliver on its mandates to Nigerians depends largely on the capacity of the Civil Service to faithfully implement Government programmes, he stressed that this can only happen if we rise-up to the challenge by discipline and applying ourselves wholly to the task ahead with transparency and accountability.

“Corruption continues to be source of concern in the country and indeed the World over, noting that there is need for deliberate, concerted and collective efforts at the individual and national levels to deal with it”, he added.

He, therefore, enjoined all staff not to take the lecture as a mere talk, but to use them to design innovative methods and ideas which will help fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region, as well as finding solutions to the various challenges inhibiting the activities of Government agencies and those of the Development Partners in the region.

Earlier, in her goodwill message, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, HoCSF, Dr. Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan, said that she was excited to learn from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, that the Ministry has taken the ‘bull by the horn’ in designing an in-house training programme to support service wide effort in building the capacity of the Federal Civil Servants in the Ministry.

She therefore commended the Ministry for the bold initiative which according to her, is in line with the current vision of improved Federal Civil Service based on innovation culture and ethics of the profession, advising other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDA’s, to key in.

Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan said the Lecture Series with the Theme: “Emerging Corruption trend: Role of the Management in Enhancing Anti-Corruption Principles in the Work Place”, is very apt.

She therefore charged anti-corruption units in all MDA’s to energize them to leave up to expectations. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr.Adesola Olusade in his remarks said the launching of the Reform Initiative Monthly Lecture Series was welcomed by the Head of Service which is conceived essentially as a platform for enlightenment and dissemination of ideas and information on Public Service Reform Agenda of the Federal Government.

According to the Permanent Secretary, he has directed all the Heads of Departments to resuscitate Departmental Meetings in order to actively engage and also train staff as he also intends to participate in the exercise by personally going round to get first-hand information on the observance of this directive, once all restrictions to fight Covid-19 are substantially lifted.

The Resource Person, Director and Head, Corruption, Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Independent Corrupt Practices & other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Abbia Udofia, Esq. in his presentation stated that corruption is complex due to its amoebic natures, traditions, culture, statutes of different nations and jurisdiction. Udofia also explained that according to Transparency International, corruption could also be described as the Abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

He identified traditional trends of corruption in the Public Service as gratification before performance of Public Duty, Nepotism in recruitment and hiring of personnel, fictitious expenditure and claims, diversion and misuses of allocated project funds, stealing of project support vehicles and other materials, false age & asset declarations connivance with payment of bribes in foreign currency, inflating the number of staff on the IPPIS, non-remittance of pensions & sundry claims.

He also identified the effects of corruption on the Nation and the Niger Delta region as poor infrastructure and service delivery, lowers foreign investment due to undue and corrupt pressure on investors which tends to dent National reputation and enhance stigmatization of Nigerians, while the effect on the region will lead to civil strives, youth restiveness, pipeline vandalisation and environmental devastation amongst others.

Udofia, advised that Leaders should lead by example not precepts, build and maintain a strong ethical infrastructure, monitor and evaluate the integrity of projects for quality and specification and promote virtual engagements to save time and resources and risk of travel by personnel, expose and report corrupt activities, sanction misconducts and reward honesty and hard work.

Deworitshe Patricia
D (Press & Public Relations)
July 22, 2020

Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs Response to Joi Nunieh on the allegation that….

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.

Deworitshe Patricia
D (Press & Public Relations)
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
July 15, 2020

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