By Chris Ochayi
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has disclosed that the appointment of a sole administrator for Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was based on court injunction.
Senator Akpabio noted that the action was necessitated by a court injunction issued by Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja and not an official appointment made by the Federal Government.
The minister made the clarifications when he met with representatives of the Forensic Auditing team who were in his office in Abuja to submit progress report of the on-going Forensic Auditing of the NDDC.
He noted that the leadership of the Commission held by Mr. Effiong Akwa was not permanent and would only last the duration of the Forensic Auditing after which a board would be inaugurated.
Speaking further, Akpabio said the MNDA is starting the year with renewed vigour and would ensure that the Ministry gives priority to achieving the mandate given by President Muhammadu Buhari to revitalize the Niger Delta region.
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According to the Minister, “The key programme for the Niger Delta is the completion of the East-West road particularly Section I-IV and I’m happy to report that contractors are on site and work is on-going at a very busy pace. I also commend the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the NDDC 2020 budget; I think that was a patriotic action taken in the interest of the good people of the Niger Delta region”.
While commending the management team and staff of the Ministry, the Minister said, “The Ministry was able to complete a lot of development projects in different States of the Niger Delta which includes the 50km road in Edo State, Skill Acquisition Centers in Cross River, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom and others with provision for under water welding”.
The immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, who expressed displeasure over the recent fiasco caused by some youths from the Niger Delta region in the Ministry, said he has also received calls from some Youth Groups apologizing for their behavior, saying that they were misled to coming to the Ministry to foment trouble.