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Akpabio takes proactive steps to tackle flooding in the Niger Delta Region

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Senator Godswill Akpabio CON has stated that the Ministry is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Committee towards alleviating the flooding disaster in the Niger Delta Region (NDR).

The Minister stated this at the official presentation of the Inter-Agency Committee’s report on the assessment of potential impact of flooding and level of preparedness in the Niger Delta Region for 2020 seasonal rainfall in his office in Abuja.

According to him, “Over the years, the Niger Delta Region has witnessed varying degrees of environmental challenges that have had tremendous negative impact on not only the people of the region but also of the Nation as a whole. One of these environmental challenges that has assumed annual occurrence is the seasonal flooding of the area with its catastrophic consequences; hence the inauguration of the Inter-Agency Committee.”

The Minister assured that the report of the Committee will be forwarded to Federal Executive Council (FEC), as well as all the Governors, Local Governments, the International Oil Companies located in the Niger Delta Region, stating that “flooding is a challenge and everyone must have a say because it affects lives of people.”

The Committee which was inaugurated on 1st September, 2020 was amongst others, charged with examining the perennial flooding problem in the region, determine flood monitoring mechanisms, flood notification protocols, flood evaluation protocols, flood response taskforce, setup requirement and readiness and also identify areas of importance that attention will be needed for future planning and effective impact management.

Akpabio reiterated that flooding has claimed lives and destroyed property despite sensitization, early warning and awareness creation; the Niger Delta Region has continued to suffer its impact, adding that this year’s rainy season is becoming severe and displaying its intensity in different flood prone areas of the region.

He commended the efforts of the Committee for living up to expectation, assuring that the Ministry will take proactive and necessary mitigation measures to remedy the situation.

Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babayo Ardo, stated that, following the persistent flooding in the Niger Delta Region resulting to loss of lives and property, the Ministry inaugurated an Inter-Agency Committee to look into the near and remote causes of flooding in the Niger Delta Region, assess its impact and proffer recommendations that will mitigate the impact of flooding in the region.

The Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Dr. E. O Mbie, in his speech, said that the Committee worked assiduously in line with the Terms of Reference (ToR) to prepare and present the report, adding that the implementation of the recommendations made in the report will help the region develop highly integrated flood management approach with emphasis on prevention, mitigation, preparedness and recovery

Deworitshe Patricia,
D (Press & PR), 
7th October, 2020

Forensic Audit opportunity to right the wrongs-Akpabio

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has described the Forensic Audit of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as an important project by President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to right the wrongs witnessed in the Agency and equally provide a strong base upon which a new NDDC will emerge.

Sen. Akpabio stated this at the inauguration of the last batch of Eight (8) Forensic Auditors for the NDDC on Friday, held recently in his office in Abuja.

Akpabio who charged the Forensic Auditors to go through all the nooks and crannies of the region to ascertain the activities and utilization of funds allocated to NDDC over the years. He urged the Forensic Auditors to come up with a report that will serve as benchmark for repositioning the Commission and for other Interventionist Agencies to emulate.

He said, inspite of misplaced reservation and resistance by various interest groups from within and outside the Niger Delta region, the inauguration of the last batch of Eight (8) Forensic Auditors is a milestone in the quest to ensure the actualization of the Presidential directives against all odds.

Speaking further, the MNDA helmsman said the Forensic Auditing as directed by Mr. President for the holistic examination of the Commission’s activities in the last 20 years does not only demonstrate Mr. President concern for the good people of the region, but also to ensure that this laudable initiative is not scuttled by those benefitting from the current situation to the detriment of the majority of the people of the region.

The Minister expressed optimism that the Forensic exercise as directed by President Buhari, would ensure a new NDDC that will be socially responsive and responsible to providing for the economic and infrastructural needs of the people in the region.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Babayo Ardo expressed the Ministry’s readiness to carry out President Muhammadu Buhari Agenda for the Niger Delta region and also commended the doggedness of the Minister in repositioning the Commission inspite of the dust raised by the process.

The Permanent Secretary noted that various Committees have been set up to enhance the process with provisions made at different States Offices to enable the interface between the Lead Forensic Auditor and other stakeholders. He said the Ministry would monitor the progress of the Audit on daily basis to ascertain its progress and pledge the Ministry’s support.

In his remarks, Chief Ede Dafinone, while speaking on behalf of the last batch of the Forensic Auditors assured the Minister of their readiness to work and deliver on the task assigned to them.

He assured the Ministry that they will be fully satisfied with the findings, promising that interim reports will be given from time to time to indicate the progress being made. He thanked the Minister for the confidence reposed on them.

The last batch of eight (8) Forensic Auditors inaugurated by the Honourable Minister includes Abdulrauf Jimoh & Co, Jim Henry & Co, Buhari Bala & Co, Sonny Okon & Co, Haruna Yahaya & Co, Murix & Co, Henry Young & Co and Crowe Dafinone & Co, bringing the total approved audit firms to sixteen (16).

Deworitshe Patricia,
D (Press & PR),
October 4, 2020

Hon. Minister MNDA Recalls NDDC Staff on leave back to office immediately

The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, has directed the immediate recall of all staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) sent on compulsory leave, in April 2020.

The Minister made this pronouncement while receiving the Interim Report of the Committee set up on Thursday, September 10, 2020, to look into some Prevailing Staff Matters in the Commission in his office in Abuja.

Recall that Sen. Akpabio who had expressed concerns about the agitation within the rank and files in the Commission had set up the Committee to look into circumstances that led to the compulsory leave of some Management Staff, Promotion, Appointment and Discipline exercise carried in this regard.

The Committee was given three weeks to present its report on findings and recommendations. The Committee, which was guided by the provisions of the Public Service Rules, Financial Regulations, the Act Setting up the NDDC, Condition of Service and other Extant Guidelines and Regulations guiding staff and related matters was to examine generally the circumstances militating against a healthy work atmosphere and other attendant issues at the Commission.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mrs. Lauren Braide, noted that the Committee in carrying out its assignment on the compulsory leave matter, had meetings (Physical & Virtual), consultations with the Directors of Human Resource Management (HRM) in both the Ministry and NDDC, examined applicable relevant rules and regulations, guidelines, documents and files to guide it in establishing the correctness or otherwise of the processes leading to the compulsory leave.

The Committee after due consultations on the circumstance that led to the compulsory leave of some staff of the Commission found that the six months recommended by the Lead Forensic Auditors had lapsed and there was need to preserve institutional memory for the benefit of the Commission and the Forensic Audit.

Therefore, the Committee recommended the immediate recall of all the affected staff sent on compulsory leave to allow for fair play, peace, Industrial Harmony in the NDDC and to avail the Forensic Auditors institutional memory. The Committee noted however, that the recommendation is not prejudicial to any future findings in the course of its on-going assignment.

Deworitshe Patricia,
D (Press & PR),
October 2, 2020

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