David Diai

Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Rivers born oil industry mogul, has congratulated Gbene, Dr. Joi Nunieh, the new Managing Director, NDDC, Interim Management Committee, which was recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to oversee the running of the Commission until the forensic audit ordered by the president is concluded.

The Interim Management Committee, which was formally inaugurated on Tuesday October 29, by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, arrived Port Harcourt on Wednesday, October 30, for the official hand over ceremony from the Acting Board, amid great jubilation and an enthusiastic crowd of Political faithfuls, well wishers and supporters from all the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State.

In a brief but very colourful ceremony at the NDDC headquarters, along Aba Road in the heart of Port Harcourt, the former acting Managing Director, Dr. (Mrs) Akwagaga Lelegima Enyia, warmly received the new Management Committee members; Dr. Cairo Ojougboh (Acting Executive Director, Projects), Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang (Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration) and of course Gbene Dr. Joi Nunieh, the Acting Managing Director and pledged to give them maximum cooperation to execute their mandate.

Addressing newsmen at the NDDC headquarters after the handover ceremony, the new interim MD, Gbene Joi Nunieh, thanked Dr. Akwagaga Enyia for a smooth handover and promised to take the Commission to the next level, even as she harped on the need for the commission to give attention to rural development and to people with physical challenges.

She said: “We will get a list of every village in the Niger Delta and also give attention to the disabled and the blind. I consider rural development very important. So, we will give attention to the villages.

“The president has been worried about the Niger Delta region; the amount of money that is allocated to the region and how they are utilized for the development of the region. I welcome you to the Next-Level NDDC. From the end of next month, people of Niger Delta will begin to testify that they have a commission that is responsible for them,” she pledged confidently.

She then thanked the former MD for her services to the Commission and the Niger Delta region and promised to collaborate with the auditing firms when they are picked to give them an unfettered access to do the job, in line with the mandate handed over to the IMC.

Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs who was physically present to witness the brief handover ceremony, described Dr. Joi Nunieh, a widely respected stateswoman, a renowned rights activist and a famous Ogoni lawyer popularly known as the Esther of Ogoni, as a woman of substance, whose capacity to deliver is never in doubt.

He also expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the appointment, and expressed confidence that her assumption of managerial duties at the commission, will translate to such great achievements that will not only impact positively on the lives of the Niger Delta people, but would also please Mr. President and justify the confidence reposed in her capabilities to set the Commission on the right path in line with the next level agenda of the Buhari administration.

The handing over ceremony was equally witnessed by management staff of the Commission who also expressed their readiness to cooperate with the incoming interim committee.

Additional report from Uche E. Woke, Special Media Assistant to DLB

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