From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has said the recent change of guards in the administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was not an official appointment by the Federal Government.
Akpabio, in a statement made available to Daily Sun, in Abuja by the Director, Press, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Patricia Deworitshe, said the takeover by a sole administrator was necessitated by a court injunction issued by Justice AR Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Speaking during an interactive session with representatives of the Forensic Auditing Team who were in his office in Abuja to submit the progress report of the ongoing Forensic Auditing of the NDDC, Akpabio disclosed 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.
Akpabio added that the ministry was starting the year with renewed vigour and would ensure that the ministry gave priority to achieving the mandate given by President Muhammadu Buhari to revitalise the Niger Delta region.
‘The key programme for the Niger Delta is the completion of the East-West road, particularly Section I-IV and I am happy to report that contractors are on-site and work is ongoing 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,’ Akpabio said.
Akpabio further commended the management team and staff of the ministry, even as he listed the progress made in the region in recent time.
‘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 underwater welding,’ Akpabio disclosed.
Akpabio also expressed displeasure over the recent fiasco caused by some youths from the Niger Delta region in the ministry.
He disclosed that he has also received calls from some youth groups apologising for their behaviour, saying that they were misled to coming to the ministry to foment trouble.