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House Committee on Niger Delta Pledges Support for NDDC

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… As Boss Restates the need to review/ reform Niger Delta Master Plan & Act

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has pledged to support the Commission as a strategic stakeholder in the sustainable development of the Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
Speaking during the oversight tour of the House Committee at the NDDC permanent headquarters in Port Harcourt, Hon Tunji-Ojo reiterated the need to reposition the NDDC for effective performance in all its mandate states.
He said: “We are here to engage with you to enhance your service delivery, ascertain your challenges if any, and explore ways of mitigating them. You have the assurance of this committee to support you in every way possible, including through legislative instruments.”

“The NDDC being a window of opportunity for the transformation of the Niger Delta region can serve as the agent to catalyze regional integration and socio-economic advancement of its people.

“The Committee is willing and ready to work with the NDDC in terms of drafting legislation that will ensure that the NDDC is more efficient and delivers on its mandate. We want to see the NDDC deliver on legacy projects like the East- West road, the Calabar-Itu road and the Ikot Ekpene-Aba road while it still undertakes emergency projects. The Committee will work with the NDDC to improve the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region.”

The Lawmaker stated that the NDDC being a window of opportunity for transformation of the Niger Delta area should serve as the agent to catalyze regional integration and socio-economic advancement of its people and as a result of this, the committee was working towards putting in the necessary mechanisms towards ensuring this.

According to him,” it is the position of the committee that going forward, the NDDC is expected to award contract to only contractors with capacity and focus”
He harped on the importance of reviewing the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan, which he stated is long overdue. He, however, promised that efforts would be made to ensure that the states of the Niger Delta, Oil Companies, Private Sector, Multi-lateral organizations, civil Society and other stakeholders jointly review and update the Master Plan and commit to its effective implementation.

Tunji-Ojo noted: “Since the inauguration of this Committee nearly two years ago, this is the first time that the Committee is visiting the NDDC in line its oversight functions and that is due to the current leadership of the Commission.”
The Committee Chairman noted that the NDDC, as an interventionist agency, was supposed to work on the basis of having quick turnaround on projects’ delivery. He regretted that this was not the case currently.

Welcoming the Committee members to the NDDC permanent Headquarters , the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa, thanked them for visiting the Commission’s permanent headquarters and sought the support of the Committee in enacting legislations that would enhance the productivity of the interventionist agency and correct inconsistencies in the current NDDC Act.

He remarked: “There is a need for the House Committee members to interact with the NDDC to reform the NDDC Act. Like I stated at an earlier forum, there is the need to come up with a new Niger Delta Regional Development Master plan, as the previous master plan has expired. We seek your support in this regard.

Akwa stated that the NDDC was ready to work with the Committee to ensure a better life for the people of the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC boss stated that it was high time contractors were held accountable for every projects given to them for execution, noting that the commission must also ensure that contractors were paid mobilization to motivate them for every project awarded, as this was one of the reasons why some contractors abandoned projects.
Akwa later took members of the House Committee on a tour of the newly completed headquarters complex.

Governance

No Bench Warrant against NDDC Interim Administrator – Senator Nwaoboshi

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… Says money allocated for new Hdqs well uilitised

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 uilitised. And I want to state that we are happy with what we have seen. The money has been well utilised.”

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.

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BREAKING: Buhari Appoints Bawa As New EFCC Boss

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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN EXTENSION: PRESIDENT BUHARI SIGNS REGULATIONS NO 2 of 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, his appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004.

“Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of Advance Fee Fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.

“He has undergone several specialized trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005. Bawa holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy,” the statement said

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