Senate Rejects Nunieh’s Nomination As NDDC Board Member, Confirms Odubu As Chairman

The Senate has rejected the nomination of Dr. Joy Nunieh as a board member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and confirmed Pius Odubu as chairman of the commission.

Dr. Nunieh was rejected because she failed to appear before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta for screening.

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of 14 others as board members of the commission.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 29, 2019, written to the Senate seeking the confirmation of nominees for the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

READ ALSO: Buhari Sends NDDC Board List To Senate For Confirmation

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan read the letter announcing the 16-member board at plenary.

The NDDC’s Board nominees include the Chairman, Pius Odubu (Edo); Managing Director, Bernard O. Okumagba (Delta); Executive Director Projects, Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom); Executive Director Finance and Admin, Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa); Delta State representative, Prophet Jones Erue; Chief Victor Ekhatar (Edo); Joy Yimebe Nunieh (Rivers); and Nwogu N. Nwogu).

Others are Theodore A. Allison (Bayelsa); Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom); Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River); Olugbenga Elema (Ondo); Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo); Northwest Rep, Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano); Northeast Rep, Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and North Central Rep, Amb. Abdullahi M Bage (Nasarawa)

IYC Rejects NDDC’s Interim Management, Threatens To Ground Activities

 

The Ijaw Youth Council has threatened to ground activities at the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

According to the IYC, it will back the threat with action if the NNDC’s Interim Management Committee constituted by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, is not disbanded immediately.

Addressing a news conference in Warri, Delta State, IYC President Eric Omare also demanded that the new members of the NDDC Board cleared by the Senate should be inaugurated immediately.

He added that the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari should be “directly supervised” by the President.

“If our demands are not met within a reasonable time from this moment, we will be forced to embark on mass action in the entire Niger Delta, especially at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt to forcefully remove the interim management committee from the NDDC headquarters,” the IYC President said.

IYC President, Eric Omare

Mixed reactions have trailed the constitution of the interim committee which is charged with the responsibility to oversee the affairs of the commission throughout the period of the forensic audit.

Mr Akpabio had announced the appointment of a three-man interim management committee expected to oversee the affairs of the NDDC until the forensic audit is completed.

Not only did the IYC reject the move, it also dismissed the idea behind it declaring it illegal.

“The reasons why we are against the committee set up by the Minister are as follows: Number one, it is illegal. Number two, the argument that the committee is to ensure unhindered forensic audit ordered by the President is unacceptable; it is weak and baseless,” Mr Omare said.

Following shouts of “Enough is Enough”, he added, “We are tired of people using our resources to run their bogus lifestyles.”

He believes the youths of the Niger Delta are ready to hold everybody accountable and if the incoming board fails to do what they are supposed to do, they will “hold them accountable”.

Buhari Sends NDDC Board List To Senate For Confirmation

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday wrote to the Senate seeking the confirmation of nominees for the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan read the letter announcing the 16-member board at plenary.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Forensic Audit Of NDDC Operations From 2001

The NDDC’s Board nominees include the Chairman, Pius Odubu (Edo); Managing Director, Bernard O. Okumagba (Delta); Executive Director Projects, Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom); Executive Director Finance and Admin, Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa); Delta State representative, Prophet Jones Erue; Chief Victor Ekhatar (Edo); Joy Yimebe Nunieh (Rivers); and Nwogu N. Nwogu).

Others are Theodore A. Allison (Bayelsa); Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom); Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River); Olugbenga Elema (Ondo); Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo); Northwest Rep, Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano); Northeast Rep, Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and North Central Rep, Amb. Abdullahi M Bage (Nasarawa0.

The letter was referred to the Senate Committee on NDDC for screening and Mr Lawan asked to report back after one week.

See below the letter consisting of the nominee list…

Our Probe, ‘A Welcome Development’ – NDDC

Charles Odili

 

 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has described its probe as a step taken in the right direction.

Director of Corporate Affairs at the commission, Mr Charles Odili, said this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Tuesday.

He stated, “It is a welcome development that a probe is coming as a lot of things will come to the fore.

“I did mention that the governors visited Mr President and that the President, as the father of the nation, reserves the right to look at the various components because the Federal Government puts in so much money and would like to see what we are getting out of that effort.”

“The NDDC is over-burdened, being just an interventionist agency. Everybody feels some form of entitlement and the Commission cannot take on the entire gamut of regional expectations alone,” Odili added.

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: South Africans Attack Nigerians Again

The statement came barely one week after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the agency, following the persistent criticisms of its activities.

President Buhari, who received governors of the states that make up the Commission, directed that the audit should cover the operations of NDDC from 2001 to 2019.

He had decried that what was on the ground in the South-South region does not justify the huge resources that have been made available to the organisation.

Meanwhile, Odili also responded to insinuations that the NDDC was often over-politicised, noting that that the commission was a political creation and as such could not be entirely divorced from political considerations.

He described the governors of the nine Niger Delta States as critical stakeholders and partners in the development of the region.

According to the NDDC spokesman, the governors play a key role in the process of building a development-oriented Niger Delta,

He said, “The governors form the Advisory Committee which is supposed meet from time to time to look at areas where they can intervene and advise management and board on the way forward.

“So, they are strategic partners in the process of building an egalitarian and a development-oriented Niger Delta region. The Governors of the region are very important and worthy stakeholders in the task of building the region.”

Buhari Orders Forensic Audit Of NDDC Operations From 2001

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He gave the order on Thursday in Abuja, following the persistent criticisms of the operations of the agency.

Receiving governors of the states that make up the Commission, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, the President directed that the audit should cover the operations of NDDC from 2001 to 2019.

He said what was on the ground in the South-South region does not justify the huge resources that have been made available to the organisation.

“I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions, especially the NDDC,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves N10bn Intervention Fund For Enugu Airport

He stressed, “With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.

“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done.  The consultants must also prove that they are competent.”

 

Developing Niger Delta

President Buhari admitted that developing the Niger Delta area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer lands.

He said, “I am acutely aware, with my experience, that projects in your area are very expensive; that is why if any job is given, we must make sure that the company is competent and has the capacity to do it well with experienced consultants.”

The President, however, said he would wait for the report of the audit before deciding on the next line of action regarding the organisation.

Earlier, Governor Dickson expressed the disappointment of other governors with the operations of the NDDC.

According to him, the operations are characterised by the poor choice of projects, shoddy handling, uncompleted jobs and lack of the required support for the efforts of the states and local government administration in the region covered by the organisation.

The governor, therefore, called for the repositioning of the NDDC in order to achieve the objectives for which it was set up.

This comes barely nine months after President Buhari approved the appointment of Professor Nelson Braimbraifa as the acting Managing Director for the agency.

On January 25, the President approved the dissolution of the extant board of the commission and vested its supervisory role in the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Mr Chris Amadi was also appointed as acting Executive Director (Finance and Administration) of NDDC, while Mr Samuel Adjogbe became the acting Executive Director (Projects).

Police Seek NDDC’s Support To Combat Flood In Bayelsa

Bayelsa Govt House Photographer, One Other Shot Dead

 

The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Uche Anozia, has appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to assist it in checking the flood ravaging its headquarters and some stations in Yenagoa.

The police boss, who was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Jide Kolawole, made the appeal when he paid a courtesy visit to the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Dr. Akwagaga Enyia, at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.

Anozia lamented that flood had swamped some police stations and barracks under his command and called for urgent assistance from the NDDC to help in restoring full operations in the affected areas.

He stated: “I am seeking intervention with regard to an emergency situation confronting my command. The current flood has submerged most of Bayelsa State Police headquarters and other police posts.”

Responding, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Enyia, regretted that the police have had to operate under very difficult conditions. She assured the police that as an interventionist agency, the NDDC would urgently review the situation and act appropriately.

She said that the NDDC would continue to support the police with equipment and other things that can make life easier for those who spend nights and days to protect life and property in the country.

Earlier in July, the NDDC had informed the Commissioner of Police, of its plans to construct a new headquarters and police barracks for the Bayelsa State Police Command, which had been in a makeshift building since the creation of the state.

Buhari Approves Composition Of Board For NDDC, Seeks Senate Confirmation

Buhari Appoints Nelson Braimbraifa As Acting NDDC MD

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The President is also seeking the Senate confirmation of their appointment.

Below Is The Full Names Of The Board 

S/N Position Name State
1 Chairman Dr. Pius Odubu Edo
2 Managing Director Bernard O. Okumagba Delta
3 Executive Director Projects Engr. Otobong Ndem Akwa Ibom
4 Executive Director Finance & Admin. Maxwell Okoh Bayelsa
5 Delta Rep Prophet Jones Erue Delta
6 Edo Rep Chief Victor Ekhatar Edo
7 Rivers Rep Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh Rivers
8 Abia Rep Nwogu Nwogu Abia
9 Bayelsa Rep Theodore A. Allison Bayelsa
10 Akwa Ibom Rep Victor Antai Akwa Ibom
11 Cross River Rep Maurice Effiwatt Cross River
12 Ondo Rep Olugbenga Elema Ondo
13 Imo Rep Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian Imo
14 Northwest Rep Aisha Murtala Muhammed Kano
15 Northeast Rep Ardo Zubairu Adamawa
16 Southwest Rep Engr. Badmus Mutalib Lagos

2. The interim management headed by Prof. Nelson Brambaifa has been directed to hand-over to the most senior Director in the Commission.

3. The Chairman and members of the newly composed Governing Board are by this release invited to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday 2nd September, 2019 at 2.00 p.m for proper documentation and briefing.

They are to come along with their updated CVs and valid identification.

 

NDDC To Partner With NMA On Free Health Care

Buhari Appoints Nelson Braimbraifa As Acting NDDC MD

 

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, has said that the Commission will partner with the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, to provide free health care to rural communities in the Niger Delta region.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brambaifa said this when a delegation from the NMA Rivers State Branch, led by the Vice Chairman, Dr Ebbi Robinson, paid him a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that as an interventionist agency, the Commission would always collaborate with experts to provide adequate health care for rural communities in the Niger Delta region, as part of its commitment to enhance better healthcare delivery to the people.

Brambaifa assured the NMA of the support of the NDDC in training and retraining of medical personnel, noting that it was necessary to bridge the gap in healthcare delivery in the Niger Delta by taking medical experts to the various communities.

The NDDC boss stated that the Commission was determined to make a difference in the health sector through the engagement of relevant partners.

He observed that many people had benefited from the free medical services organized by the Commission to address various health issues. According to him, the NDDC had always made efforts to bring healthcare to the door-steps of rural dwellers.

He said that the NDDC free medical mission made it possible to assemble medical experts in different areas of specialization to attend to the needs of people who would otherwise not have access to such highly qualified medical personnel.

Earlier in his remarks, the Vice Chairman of NMA, Dr Ebbi Robinson, commended the NDDC for promoting health-related programmes that help to reduce the medical challenges facing the people of the region.

He said: “We want to partner with NDDC in manpower development in the health sector. There is need to sponsor the training of specialties in the medical sector and we need the support of the NDDC in training and retraining of medical personnel.”

Dr Robinson said the NMA was making arrangements for its Annual General Meeting, AGM, in the Rivers State capital and would, therefore, require the support of the NDDC.

He said that the progamme for the AGM would include free health services for members of the public and a community outreach programme.

NDDC Restores Electricity To Niger Delta Communities

 

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has pledged to commission a pilot power project that will restore electricity to Ubima and Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State before the end of the month.

Prof. Brambaifa gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo in his palace.

He was accompanied by the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, and other directors of the Commission, who were on inspection of projects in Ozuoba, Omagwa, Ubima, and Isiopko.

Prof Nelson Brambaifa said that he was shocked to learn that the Ikwere kingdom had been without public power supply for over two years.

He described it as anomalous and absurd, stating that the situation needed to be corrected urgently, as part of a region-wide intervention in communities of the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC boss said that the Commission was determined to face challenges of development, to improve the lives of the people. “We swung into action immediately to address these challenges, because the people of the Niger Delta region deserve better.”

He promised that the electricity project, which is almost completed, will be commissioned in the next two weeks.

READ ALSO: Rivers Government To Implement Report On Soot

Prof Brambaifa said that the NDDC was using the restoration project for Ubima and Isiokpo as a pilot scheme that would eventually cover all the other distressed areas in the Niger Delta region.

He appealed to the traditional rulers and benefitting communities to ensure that the electricity infrastructure in their areas were protected from vandals and thieves.

In his own remarks, Dr. Chris Amadi stated that the communities alerted the NDDC to the deplorable power situation in the area, adding that “for two and half years, the Ikwerre people lived without electricity.”

Dr Amadi stated: I am happy to announce that work has started in earnest in Ubima and Isiokpo. In fact, the contractor has assured us that the electrification project will be completed before the end of this month.

The Traditional Prime Minister of Isiokpo, Chief Wobo Amadi, who spoke on behalf of the Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo, said that the NDDC had shown that it could be relied upon for development projects.

He said the people were particularly impressed by the prompt action of NDDC, saying to Professor Nelson Brambaifa: You are a man of your words. You have done so much in three months and we are confident that you will do more.

He expressed delight that their agony from many years without electricity would soon be over and pledged that the communities which are benefitting from the NDDC would guard the projects “jealously and protect them from vandalism.”

The Managing Director of Income Electrix Limited, Mr. Matthew Edevbie, the contractor handling the project, explained that the entire Ikwerre Local Government Area was going to be served by two sources of power; one from Ahoada and the other from Rumuosi sub-stations.

He added: In Ubima, we have installed eight transformers and within the next one week there will be power in the town.

We are appealing to the communities to safeguard the power infrastructure. The youth leader in Ubima has promised us that our equipment and installations will be protected from being stolen or vandalised.

He charged the people to realise that the power asset was being provided for their own good and should, therefore, be secured. He urged them to also note that it was important to pay for the power they consume to ensure that the providers were able to sustain the service, adding that electricity supply was like a commodity that should be paid for to guarantee continued service.

He remarked that NDDC had made provision for the supply of some metres to be distributed free to poor consumers in the community.

Alleged N3.6bn Fraud: EFCC Commences Trial In Case Against Ex-NDDC Director

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced the trial of a former Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuoyo Omatsuli, and three others over an alleged N3.6bn fraud at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

On the 8th of Nov., 2018, the anti-graft agency had arraigned Omatsuli alongside Don Parker Properties Ltd, Francis Momoh and Building Associates Ltd before Justice Saliu Saidu on 45 charges bordering on the alleged offence.

At today’s proceedings, the EFCC called its first witness, Eyo Bassey Francis, a software developer and contractor.

Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, the witness said he had executed contracts for the NDDC as well as Akwa-Ibom, Imo and Abia state governments.

He also said that huge sums of money were transferred to the account of two of his companies by Omatsuli in 2014.

“In 2014, while as a contractor with NDDC, I came in contact with Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli. In the course of our interaction, I told him that I run an online platform and I do a lot of imports. I also told him that because of my engagement in import, I was able to source for foreign currencies.

“He later called me on phone and told me that some money will be transferred into my account. I got initial sum of N80 million transferred into the Heritage Bank account of one of my companies, Asiladrrin Global Consulting Ltd. I converted the money into dollars as directed by Mr Tuoyo,” he said.

Francis also disclosed that he had an inflow of N340 million in two tranches of N160 million and N180 million into the company’s account within the same period.

He said he also converted the money into dollars and “handed it over to Mr Tuoyo; NDDC’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration as well as the NDDC’s MD”.

Speaking further, the witness said: “Sometimes in January 2015, I also got a call from the 1st defendant (Mr. Tuoyo) telling me that I will be getting a payment from a company known as Building Associate. I later got an inflow of N349, 650, 000 into the Heritage Bank account of my company, College-Pro Synergy Ltd. “I was furnished with an account of a firm, Greenhouse Investment, owned by the Special Assistant on Finance to the then NDDC’s MD to which I transferred N100 million. The balance was converted to dollars as directed by Mr. Tuoyo”.

When asked by the prosecution lawyer, whether he executed any contract for Building Associate Ltd to warrant the transfer of the fund to his company’s account, he said: “I did not execute any contract for Building Associate”

Under cross-examination by Tuoyo’s lawyer, Professor Amuda Kehinde (SAN), the witness said he did not transfer any money to the 1st defendant’s account.

He maintained that his oral testimony was part of the statement he wrote on August 14, 2017, for the EFCC.

Further hearing in the trial continues on April 11, 2019.

Alleged N2.4B Fraud: Court To Hear Case Against Ex-NDDC Boss Ekere In April

Alleged N2.4B Fraud: Court To Hear Case Against Ex-NDDC Boss Ekere In April
A file photo of APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere.

 

Following a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court warrant of arrest placed on the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Nsima Ekere, and the Director of Legal Services of the commission, Mr Kaltungo Moljengo, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted an order of substituted service on the defendants.

The magistrate court had on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Mr Ekere and Mr Moljengo for alleged offence of criminal conspiracy to defeat or prevent the execution of lawful court order by both men in the case of alleged N2.4bn fraud brought against them by four NDDC contractors.

Mr Ekere is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Saturday’s election in Akwa Ibom State.

READ ALSOElectoral Violence: Military Dismisses Fear Of Reprisals Over Killing Of Personnel

In a suit filed by their counsel, Victoria Edward-Ekpo, the plaintiffs also asked for an order cautioning the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to treat the candidacy of Mr Ekere with sensitive restraint concerning the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, having been imposed with a criminal offence.

The lawyer had informed the court that four companies were awarded contracts by the NDDC and having not been paid, the companies obtained a judgement of a Federal High Court against them on October 28, 2015.

However, four years after, the NDDC directors allegedly prevented the execution of the judgment.

The presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, has adjourned the matter till April 8, 2019, for hearing.

Buhari Appoints Nelson Braimbraifa As Acting NDDC MD

Acting DG Of NDDC

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Professor Nelson Braimbraifa as acting Managing Director for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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

He said the President equally vested the supervisory role of the commission in the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Usani.

Adesina disclosed that President Buhari also approved the dissolution of the extant board of NDDC, following a Federal Executive Council (FEC) resolution.

The President also appointed Mr Chris Amadi and Mr Samuel Adjogbe as acting Executive Directors in charge of Finance and Administration, as well as Projects respectively.

According to the presidential aide, the appointments take immediate effect.