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SPU Barracks Named After President Muhammadu Buhari

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The new Special Protection Unit Base 6 barracks built and donated by Niger Delta Development Commission to the Nigeria Police Force in Omagwa, Rivers State, has been renamed the President Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria Police (Special Protection Unit) Base 6 Barracks.

The complex, made up of a commander’s quarters, 68 residential flats, offices and other facilities, would be commissioned by the President on Tuesday.

Announcing this in Abuja, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, said this was done in recognition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment towards enthronung peace and security in the Niger Delta region.

Senator Akpabio said that President Buhari directed that the barracks, begun several years ago, should be completed quickly to boost the work of the Nigeria Police Force in the Niger Delta, as well as efforts at facilitating sustainable regional development.

He commended the Interim Administrator of the for heeding the directive of the Federal Government, stating that “the new is renewing the confidence of Niger Deltans in Government’s seriousness to bring development to the communities.”

He added: “This is one of a few projects NDDC is completing and commissioning, post the forensic audit exercise. It shows that we are on the right track and that the Niger Delta will enjoy more of government’s efforts to improve living conditions of the region and restore hope in the people.”

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Governance

Gov. Diri Presents N310 billion 2022 budget of sustainable growth

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… happy with implementation of 2021 budget

His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State has presented the 2022 budget estimates of N310, 717,608,353.00 Billion Naira to the State House of Assembly for consideration.

The 2022 budget is tagged,” Budget of Sustainable Growth.”

The State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was allocated the highest figure of N51 billion naira for capital project followed by Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources which had N12 billion naira. N4billion is the proposed figure for Education.

Because of drop in allocation, the revenue projection is slightly lower than the 2021 Budget by N19 billion indicating a reduction of about 3.54%.

The Governor who was accompanied to the presentation by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, also said the 2021 budget had a great performance and that many projects and achievements were recorded in various sectors including education, roads, and agriculture.

“The projects include:
• Construction of Unity Bridge in Nembe
• Construction of Elebele Bridge in Ogbia
• Dualization and Re-designing of the Tombia Round-about
• Construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road.
• Construction of Yenagoa – Oporoma Road.
• Construction of AIT – Igbogene Outer Ring Road.
• Construction of Igbedi Road
• Construction of Glory Drive – just to mention a few

“Mr. Speaker, our Prosperity Government is also formulating a 30-year long-term development plan for the State, may I now proceed with a summary of the 2022 Appropriation Bill tagged “BUDGET OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH”.

“In concluding, Mr. Speaker, I will not stop thanking God for His infinite mercies and the good people of Bayelsa State for their continuous support, patience, sacrifices and the goodwill they have extended to our Government. We are determined to continue to build confidence in our people by being proactive in the formulation and implementation of our policies.”

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Why NDDC Forensic Report May Remain A Government Secret- Niger Delta Stakeholders

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Social Action

Following the embarrassing stories of corruption and mismanagement unearthed by the just concluded forensic audit, representatives of Civil Society organizations, chiefs and journalists gathered on Wednesday October 13  at the Bayview Resort at the instance of Social Action to brainstorm on ways of promoting probity and to rebuild accountability tenets and public trust in the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Speaking at the Town Hall Meeting which was supported by the MacAuthur Foundation, Port Harcourt based activist and Executive Director of We the People, a non-governmental organization, Mr Ken Henshaw expressed doubt in the willingness of the federal government to make the content of the forensic audit conducted on the public.

 Mr Henshaw held that the outcomes of the National Assembly probe on the NDDC and the much talked about report of the forensic audit will be kept secret by the political elite because of the number of highly placed people that benefited from the plunder of the six trillion Naira received from the federal government between 2001 and 2019.

“The NDDC has been used by all administrations as a war chest to sponsor elections and reward loyalists”, he said.

Pointing to the contradictions in the oil-rich region he said: “despite funding nearly the entire budget of Nigeria with resources extracted from the creeks and villages in the Niger Delta, the area is still cut off from basic infrastructure and life expectancy is lower than the national average”.

Earlier, Programs Coordinator of Social Action, Mr Botti Israel in his welcome speech stated that the program was designed to help raise the voice of citizens and to call on the federal government to reposition the NDDC for better service delivery especially as the disturbing facts from the recent audit has again put the intervention agency on the front burner of national discuss.

Flora Asieri, Senior Project Officer at Stakeholder Democracy Network who joined the event through live video, said it was timely as it gave stakeholders the opportunity to add their voice to the ongoing discussion on the just concluded forensic audit.

Also, renowned environmentalist and Ogoni rights activist, Celestin Akpbari said scrutiny of the activities of the NDDC by CSOs was relatively low when compared to other institutions like HYPREP, which has a smaller jurisdiction. He added that beyond workshops, citizens should take action as “only action can move people in Nigeria not talk.”

“Communities that have oil should ask questions and move to stop oil production because it is the only language the federal government understands,” he said.

In his remarks, Bonny Akaeze said: “nothing will come out of the forensic report unless citizens push. Citizens must organize to take action”.

He said: “CSOs should not work in isolation, they should build coalitions, discover each other and pull energies together”.

At the breakout sessions, participants and resource persons all complained about the delay by the presidency in making the outcome of the audit public.

To return the NDDC to effective service delivery, they called on government to make the report public, investigate, arrest and prosecute those indicted in the audit, no matter how highly placed.

Since the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio  Presented the final report of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission from Niger Delta Affairs Minister to President Muhammadu Buhari stakeholders from the region and beyond have continued to call for immediate action.

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