Minister Lauds Contractor Over Early Completion, blacklists erring ones

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has lauded the contractor handling the construction of Section one of Atimbo-Akpabuyo road in Cross River State, saying his Ministry will sanction contractors who failed to comply with the rules of engagement.

Dr. Usani, while on inspection of some of the Ministry's Projects in Cross River State on Friday said the Federal Government will not allow the people of Niger Delta region to be short-changed by any contractor, adding that poorly executed jobs would not be condoned by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

"We are impressed by what Zenith Construction Limited has done on section one of Atimbo-Akpabuyo road, other contractors who failed to adhere to contractual agreements will be blacklisted and barred from handing any contract in the Ministry unless they return to site and make amend."

Some of the projects visited included erosion control at O'dwaya street in Calabar South, Sections one and two of Atimbo-Akpabuyo road, in Cross River State.

The Minister lamented that the project in Calabar South was one of the Ministry's Projects awarded under the 2017 Appropriation, noting that for the fact that the road had started deteriorating in less than seven months of execution showed that the job was truly done but poorly executed.

The Company Engineer for ELM Limited, Engr. Frank Bassey has promised his company's commitment to deliver the 2.8 kilometre Section two of Atimbo-Akpabuyo road in good time.

Part of the highlights of the inspection exercise was the Ministerial directive to the appropriate department in the Ministry to start the process of allocating the Ministry's completed Housing project in Bakassi to the vulnerable and displaced people in a bid to meeting their housing need.

Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director (Press)
17th November, 2018.

We Are Worried About Environmental Impacts in the Niger Delta Region - Usani

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has expressed worries over the negative impacts of environmental discontent in the Niger Delta region, saying it has informed the Ministry's decision to streamline Environmental Policy Action in the region.

Usani expressed this concern at a One-day Stakeholders Validation Workshop and launching of a draft document on Niger Delta Region Climate Change Programme and Action Plan (NDRCCP-AP) organised by the Ministry Of Niger Delta Affairs in Calabar, Cross River State, on Thursday.

"The purpose of this programme is to streamline Environmental Policy Action in the Niger Delta which are traceable to the impact of environmental discontents such as the flooding that is ravaging the Riverine communities, the prevalence of cancer-related ailments, the radio-active ailments, as well as the soot that is in the atmosphere, especially in Rivers state," the Minister emphasised.

The Minister decried a situation where communities in the Niger Delta region were being submerged by flood while little or no action is being taken to address the trend.

He called on relevant stakeholders to urgently device means of addressing environmental disaster that demands emergency in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region, stating that all human activities are impacted as a result of climate change in the Niger Delta region.

Dr. Usani reiterated the need to "Carry out sensitization on climate change so that people will know the effect of what they go through and also that investors and economic moguls would discontinue harping on our ignorance while they make economic fortunes."

The Minister promised his Ministry's determination to perfect the draft climate change programme document in a bid to make it a worthy document that will guide all actions that are aimed at addressing environmental disasters in the Niger Delta region.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla noted that Climate Change and global warming posed serious challenges to the Niger Delta region. He added that the pace of change was increasing, saying "Unless the trend is reversed, human and physical ecologies are bound to be seriously impacted as it is being observed at the moment in many parts of the Niger Delta region."

In his words at the event, the Amayanabo of Twon Brass and the Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Bayelsa State, His Royal Highness, King Alfred Diette Spiff, charged the people in the coastal communities in the Niger Delta region to take necessary measures to guard against more negative effects of climate change and global warming in the near future.

Corroborating his colleague from Bayelsa, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Cross River State, His Royal Highness, Dr. Etim Okon Edet, thanked the Federal Government for its development efforts in the Niger Delta region.

He advised that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs should inaugurate the completed Housing project in Bakassi to the beneficiaries to address their housing need and expedite action on the completion of the Skills acquisition Centre in Akpabuyo in Cross River State.

Stephen Kilebi
Deputy Director (Press)
16th November, 2018.

Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs allocates Houses to Beneficiaries

Concerned by the lingering challenge of completing the various housing projects which have been on-going for years now, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Doctor Usani Uguru Usani has disclosed that his Ministry was considering the option of allocating the houses to various beneficiaries for completion and proper maintenance.

The Minister disclosed this while playing host to the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta who were on oversight visit to the Ministry in Abuja, on Thursday.

The Ministry is handling housing projects in the nine states of the Niger Delta region, some of which have been completed and awaiting allocation.

On the East West Road Project, the Minister said that the Ministry was mandated to transfer Sections 1 to 4 of the project to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (N.S.I.A) for completion.

He noted that the process of transferring the project may further delay the completion of the flagship project, adding that the Ministry was preparing a response to that directive.

The Minister said only about 74 per cent of the budgetary allocation was released to the Ministry from the 2017 Appropriation, as 10 percent has so far been released from the 2018 Appropriation.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Essien Ayi said the mass housing projects in the Niger Delta region had become 'abandoned projects' and 'dens of criminals.' He said the Committee would advise that the houses be allocated in their uncompleted stages to the rightful beneficiaries and allow them complete the houses while the Ministry deploys subsequent allocations to other projects like skills acquisition Centres which he said will be more beneficial to the indigenes of the Niger Delta region.

Honourable Ayi added that the Committee was in the Ministry to know the level of performance of the 2017 and 2018 Budgets, particularly the funding level of the on-going and new projects in various states in the Niger Delta region.

He reiterated the need for the Ministry to always take input from both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta, in preparing the Ministry's budget proposals in a bid to reduce to the bearest minimum, Legislative and Executive Friction in budget passage exercise.

Marshall Gundu 
Director PRESS
1st November, 2018

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