Friday 21 May 2021

Akpabio handovers 33 Vehicles for NDDC Field Forensic Audit

 The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has handed over 33 utility vehicles to the Security Committee working with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, field forensic auditors.

Senator Akpabio, who inaugurated the vehicles at the new NDDC headquarters in Marine Base, Port Harcourt, said that they were meant to assist the security personnel working with the 16 field auditors charged with identifying and verifying the projects across the Niger Delta region.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Babayo Ardo, said that the vehicles would help in the physical verification phase of the forensic exercise.

Dr Ardo, apart from representing the Minister, is also the Chairman of the Security Committee of the Forensic Audit.

The Minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the development of the Niger Delta region, as well as the NDDC, noting: “He approved the forensic audit to be carried out to look at their locations, status of completion and level of utilization.

Akpabio observed that the report of the forensic audit would guide further interventionist actions in the region. According to him: “Our initial proposal to Mr. President was to hire vehicles for the forensic exercise. But in his magnanimity, he approved the procurement of new vehicles to be deployed for the exercise.”

He said that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was committed to the rapid development of the Niger Delta region and the repositioning of the NDDC to effectively deliver on its mandate.

Akpabio stated: “The NDDC has had a lot of challenges, but these challenges would certainly be surmounted. We shall leave no stone unturned to see that all obstacles were cleared to enable the NDDC work effectively and efficiently.”

In his own remarks, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, re-emphasised the importance of forensic audit which covers the nine states of the Niger Delta region. 

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the procurement of 33 Ford Ranger vehicles for the forensic audit to be used by the security operatives working with field forensic auditors.

Akwa said that it was a promise made and kept by Mr. President. He also thanked the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio for ensuring that the vehicles were handed over to the security team assisting the forensic auditors. 

Thursday 13 May 2021

John Nwodo, Senator Ayogu Eze headline list for launch of amu nnadi’s "the love canticles"

The Advisory and Planning Committees for the public presentation of "the love canticles", the new book by prolific Nigerian poet, amu nnadi, has been unveiled.

Prominent among the committees is former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo and two-time Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, as well as Senator Ayogu Eze, former Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial Zone. 

The list, unveiled in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, also named Mr. Davies Okarevu, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as Chairman of the Planning Committee.

Other members named include Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, Commissioner of Environment, Enugu State and former member of House of Representatives, as well as Barrister George Ero, Director, Rivers State Office, Dr. Prince Alazigha, Director, Community and Rural Development, Barrister Stephen Ighomuaye, Director, Legal Services, Eno Ubi Otu, Director, Finance and Accounts, and Engr. Emeka Ani, Director, Office of Interim Administrator/CEO of the NDDC.

Mr. James Eze, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, and winner of the 2020 ANA Poetry Prize for the book, "dispossessed", and Samson Fiberesima, the General Manager of Radio Rivers, were also named.

This is the seventh book of the multiple award-winning poet, whose 2013 anthology, "through the window of a sandcastle", won the 2013 ANA Poetry Prize, the 2014 inaugural Glenna Luschei African Poetry Book Prize, and was the runner-up to the 2013 Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature.

Described by poet and literary critic, Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera, as an "alchemical phenomenon", the love canticles is a book of one hundred romantic poems.

According to a press statement signed in Port Harcourt by Edwina Aleme, a member of the Planning Committee, the public presentation, scheduled to hold in the last week of June in Port Harcourt, will also witness the unveiling of an album of songs created from amu nnadi’s poetry, "amu nnadi: everything beautiful".

"This is going to be the first of its kind in Nigerian poetry and promises to be day of astounding art," Aleme stated, adding: "Chief John Nnia Nwodo will present a speech at the event, while the review of "the love canticles" will be presented by James Eze.

The full list of the Planning and Advisory Committees are:

Davies Okarevu (Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NDDC), Chairman

Emeka Ani (Director, Office of IA/CEO, NDDC), Member

Steve Ighomuaye (Director, Legal Services), Member

Eno Ubi Otu (Director, Finance and Accounts, NDDC), Member

Hon. Chijioke Edeoga (Commissioner for Environment, Enugu State), Member 

James Eze (Chief Press Secretary, Anambra State Government and Winner, ANA Poetry Prize 2020), Member

Sampson Fiberesima (General Manager, Radio Rivers and Captain, Book Section, Port Harcourt Club 1928)

Oby Ndukwe (CEO, Citizens Quest TV)

Tammy Allaboh

Pamela Scott (Producer, *amu nnadi: everything beautiful*)

Clara Braide (Directorate of Skills Development and Empowerment, NDDC)

Edwina Aleme (Port Harcourt Literary Society)


Chief John Nnia Nwodo (Former President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo)

Senator Ayogu Eze (Former Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial Zone)

Pastor George Ero (Director, Rivers State Office, NDDC)

Dr. Prince Alazigha (Director, Community and Rural Development, NDDC)

Friday 7 May 2021

Edwin Clark applauds NDDC for embarking on life-touching projects

The Ijaw National leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, has applauded the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for embarking on projects and programmes that are impacting positively on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region.

Speaking during the commissioning of the 3.2-kilometre rigid pavement Chief Ambakederemo Road in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Clark gave kudos to the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, whom he described the as a shining light in the Niger Delta.

The Ijaw leader, who was represented by his son, Chief Anthony Clark, remarked that NDDC was expected to be the guiding light for the social and economic development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

He noted that the inauguration of the road, which was preceded by the flag-off of donation of education and essential science equipment in Warri, was part of remarkable achievements recorded by the Interim Administrator in his short period as the Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC.

Clark said: “As you commission this Ambakederemo Road, Kiagbodo, today, I want to assure you that we the communities of Kiagbodo, and our neighbours, will ensure that we play our part, that the road will be well protected for the good of the people.”

The elder statesman called on the Federal Government to ensure the sustainable funding of the NDDC, expressing concern that the Commission was still being owed a lot of money by the Federal Government unlike similar bodies such as the recently set up North East Development Commission.

He said that a country where different standards exist for similar organisations was not in the collective interest of the country, stating that this was more so when the NDDC was the body responsible for the development of the Niger Delta region. 

Clark stated: “A situation where the Federal Government spends so much on roads, while the East-West Road, running from Edo-Delta-Bayelsa-Rivers-Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, is not funded by the Federal Government, and thus remains deplorable, and has become death traps to users, and a waste of time and resources, as commuters go through the horrendous experience of travelling on the road is quite unacceptable.” 

In his own remarks, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr Akwa, gave credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for galvanising the Commission to deliver on its mandate.

He paid tribute to Chief Edwin Clark, whom he described as a model leader, who was always looking out for the things that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region. According to him, the Ijaw leader was more interested in projects that would help his community, in particular, and Niger Delta at large. 

Akwa commended the youths of Kiagbodo for being very peaceful and providing the enabling environment for the contractor to deliver on the road, which he noted was a link between Burutu Local Government and Ughelli council area.

The NDDC boss commended the contractor for doing a good job and equally thanked the community for appreciating the efforts of the Commission, promising that another road would soon be built in the area. He said: “Because you like good things, good things will follow you.”

Giving details of the project, the Director, NDDC Delta State Office, Engr. Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua said that solid infrastructure was the pillar upon which any meaningful economic or social growth of any society rested, noting that the security of any community was enhanced by infrastructural development.

He observed that Kiagbodo community, before the construction of the Chief Ambakederemo Road, was prone to perennial flooding, youth restiveness occasioned by mass poverty and unemployment.


The director said: “Today, the story is different due to the conception and implementation of this very important road, and other interventions (projects and programs) by the NDDC over the years. Economic activities are on the rise, the community is now more peaceful as both young and old are now busy with increased access to their farmlands and other business places.”

Thursday 6 May 2021

NDDC’s goal is to facilitate effective teaching and learning of science subjects – Efiong Akwa

The interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC Mr. Efiong Akwa has reiterated the commitment of the commission to qualitative education saying that NDDC’s goal is to facilitate effective teaching and learning of science subjects.


Speaking in Warri, the Delta State capital last Thursday during the flag-off of the donation and distribution of essential science equipment to selected secondary schools in the Niger Delta region, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, stated that science education was at the core of the Commission’s mandate.


Consequently, he said: “We are donating essential science equipment to forty-six schools across the region. The goal of the Commission is to facilitate the effective teaching and learning of science subjects, in order to stimulate and foster the interest of young minds in the study of the sciences.”


The NDDC Chief Executive Officer observed that science students represented the future leaders and key players in the regional growth strategies and efforts that would ensure that the Niger Delta region reaped adequate reward from its natural riches.


He stated: “The relevance of science education to our lives and its capacity to apply vital life-skills to everyday activities, indeed, cannot be over emphasized. That is why we must equip our laboratories with modern science equipment. That is why we must promote the teaching and learning of science subjects in schools.”


Akwa noted that the donation of science equipment was coming less than a month after the NDDC flagged off the distribution of vaccines, cold chains and related medical equipment to states in the Niger Delta region.


He remarked: “Although these two programmes are separated by time and place, they are intertwined in the way they both highlight the importance the Commission attaches to the wellbeing of the Niger Delta and its people.


“While the vaccines and medical equipment touch at the heart of our health enterprise, science and its essential equipment lie at the foundation of our economic health. Indeed, while no community, country or society can realise its potential and promise unless the best of its public health system is promoted, no society has ever developed, in a sustainable manner, without the development of its science and technology.”


Akwa stated that the main economic activities central to the development of the Niger Delta, such as oil, gas and agriculture, were energised and propelled by science and technology, noting that they were the key that turns the ignition of sustainable development, which moves societies forward.


The NDDC boss highlighted some of the interventions of the Commission in the education sector. According to him, they include: “Renovation and rehabilitation of schools in all the states; provision and supply of desks and benches, creating a more conducive environment and classrooms for teaching and learning; donation of desktop and laptop computers to schools, in order to address computer illiteracy in schools.


Others are: “Provision and distribution of NDDC customized teaching and learning materials to schools, as well as equipping pupils with learning aids; Capacity building workshops for teachers, aimed at enriching and updating their knowledge base with modern teaching techniques for improved learning and campaigns against substance abuse, cultism and examination malpractices, aimed at creating awareness to these social vices, finding ways to curb them and promoting a conducive and healthy learning environment in our schools.”


Akwa also talked about the contributions of the NDDC in promoting quiz competitions in secondary schools, which promote a more engaging reading culture in students, as well as using a reward system to encourage hard work in young minds.


He equally underlined the benefits of the Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarships, which he noted had helped young graduates to acquire specialization in their fields of study, as well as improving their marketability in the competitive global economy.


He said: “As part of the Commission’s human development initiative, and in consideration of the challenges occasioned by the COVID- 19 pandemic, Management has reviewed the NDDC Post-Graduate Scholarship scheme to include approved universities in Nigeria. We therefore encourage our young graduates to take advantage of this opportunity, when advertised.


The Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Patrick Ukah, commended the NDDC, for taking concrete steps to ensure that secondary school students were given good science education.


Ukah, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Augustine Oghoro, expressed the government’s appreciation of the science equipment and promised to put the items to good use.


He appealed to the NDDC to extend the donation to other schools in the state, while calling on other organisations to emulate what the NDDC had done.


Cutting the tape for the flag-off, the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who represented the Minster, Sir Etekamba Umoren, emphasized the role of science education in nation building, urging the beneficiaries of the science equipment to put them to good use.

Thursday 29 April 2021

Ondo governor commends NDDC boss for meeting critical stakeholders

he Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, says the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is in a new era of diversification and sustainable economic development.

Governor Akeredolu stated this today when the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, led a team of the Commission’s management to pay him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Akure.

Akeredolu re-stated the position of other key Niger Delta stakeholders that the objective of the NDDC should be to drive sustainable development, commending the Commission for taking out time to engage critical stakeholders.

The governor said that the economic potentials in his state were diverse, urging the NDDC to partner with the government in making the needed investments. He remarked: “You can invest in our bitumen and cassava industry. This is important because the reliance on oil is waning. We can also partner to invest in tourism. There are many areas where we can work together.”

Akeredolu commended the NDDC for executing that the 132/33kv sub station that would provide electricity for over 2,000 communities in the southern part of the state. He said: “It is good that you are visiting the electricity project. It so important to us. We want light in the south of the state. We want this project to be commissioned. We have done some electricity projects on our own but it is not enough. Our people should know that light is coming. It has taken some time. But I assure you, light is coming.”

The governor regretted that the Ugbo-Arogbo Bridge and some other projects in the state were abandoned and urged the NDDC to work towards completing all its projects. He, however, expressed appreciation to the Commission for donating waste disposal trucks to the state government, observing that it would go a long way in keeping the environment clean.

In his address, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Efiong Akwa, said it was important to engage and consult stakeholders of the Niger Delta and commended Governor Akeredolu’s commitment to developing the state.

He told the governor: “This visit is part of our ongoing engagement with important stakeholders of the Niger Delta region. When President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed me as Interim Administrator of the NDDC in December, he charged me to ensure, as a matter of urgency, that we rebuild the relationship between the Commission and its stakeholders.

“This is important because partnership is key to development. It rekindles our long-held tradition of brotherhood. It reaffirms that we are our brother’s keeper. This is who we have always been as Niger Deltans.”

Akwa noted that partnership was one of the key prescriptions of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

According to him: “It advocates for a shared vision, shared responsibility, shared commitment, as well as shared budgeting process and implementation of development initiatives. This way, we are able to do far more, with far less funds, than if we were duplicating projects and working alone.

“That was the spirit in fashioning a Master Plan for the Niger Delta, the vision of our shared allegiance to this great region. After so many years of neglect, it is important that, together, we do far more for our people. It is important that we do more for a region which has provided the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth, and accounted for our rise in the comity of nations.”

 Akwa stressed the importance of revitalising the Commission’s Presidential Advisory Council, to ensure that NDDC works in harmony with our State Governors, as well as within the vision of each state, stating: “The past practice where the Commission undertook projects and programmes in the states, without first building a working coalition with the states governments, to integrate our plans, policies, projects and programmes into the state government’s overall master plan, will no longer hold. Because the state governments know more where the needs are, what the needs are, and how, working together, we can best bring development to our people.

“Our visit is both to acknowledge your strategic importance to Niger Delta development, as well as to seek ways in which we can forge a stronger alliance with the government and people of Ondo State. We offer both our hands and seek embrace, so that, together, we can build a region of which we can be eminently proud.

"We are determined to continue to make a difference in the Niger Delta region in general, and in Ondo State, in particular. We remain committed to providing projects and programmes of enduring quality. To build the Niger Delta is to build ourselves. To make it a better place is to give our people a better place. And that is what we are determined to do.”

The Interim Administrator later presented keys to three waste disposal trucks to the Ondo State Government to assist it in its efforts to improve the sanitary conditions in the state. He said that the NDDC had also donated hepatitis vaccines and medical equipment to the state.

Tuesday 2 March 2021

NDDC: Imo State Governor charges stakeholders on peaceful coexistence for more development

The Governor of Imo State,  Senator Hope Uzodinma, has called on all stakeholders in the Niger Delta to work with the Niger Delta Development Commission in its efforts to develop the region. Senator Uzodinma was speaking when the Interim Administrator of the interventionist agency, Mr. Efiong Akwa, led a team of the Commission’s directors on a courtesy visit to Government House, Owerri.

Thursday 25 February 2021

No Bench Warrant against NDDC Interim Administrator – Senator Nwaoboshi

Barr. Effiong Akwa, NDDC Sole Administrator

Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has refuted reports that the Senate issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa. 

Senator Nwaboshi, who was speaking during the oversight visit of the Senate Committee at the new NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, described the reports as untrue, saying that he was reliably informed that no such order was issued.

“The Interim Administrator has been reaching out, communicating and discussing with the Senate," he stated, adding: "He opened discussions with us. We are happy that he accepted that there is need for cooperation and collaboration for Niger Delta to move forward.”

The Senate Committee chairman, however, disclosed that the Senate was still investigating the issues connected with the NDDC COVID-19 palliative funds, adding: "We are aware that the NDDC Interim Administrator was not part of the NDDC leadership team at the time."

He stated that the NDDC boss was appointed Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission in August, 2020, "a month after the National Assembly began probing the matter. He was not a party to any of the transactions on the palliatives."

Sen. Nwaoboshi also expressed delight over the completion of the NDDC permanent headquarters, noting that the Committee had appropriated N16 billion for the completion of the headquarters building.

He stated: “We are happy to sit at the headquarters today. We have come to see how the money has been used in executing the project. We want to know whether the money has been well utilized. And I want to state that we are happy with what we have seen. The money has been well utilized."

Welcoming members of the Senate Committee, to the NDDC permanent headquarters, Mr. Akwa commended the Committee for their unflinching support for the NDDC, noting that the support was critical for the development and progress of the Niger Delta region.

Akwa said: "For about a year we had misunderstanding with some members of the National Assembly. The members are noble men and they had to bend backwards to bury the hatchet in the interest of the region. When I went to the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to defend the 2020 budget, they cooperated with us. I assured them that we will insist on doing the right thing at the NDDC."

The Interim Administrator later took members of the Senate Committee on a tour of the newly completed headquarters complex.