AKPABIO INAUGURATES ENLARGED NDDC INTERIM MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, CHARGES MEMBERS ON COOPERATION FOR FORENSIC AUDIT, SERVICE DELIVERY.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has inaugurated the enlarged Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and charged them to cooperate with forensic auditors to audit the operations of the Commission as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Mohammadu Buhari, had on Wednesday, 19th February, approved the enlargement of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDc from three to five.

The five members of the Committee are: Prof Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, Acting Managing Director replacing Barrister Joi Nunieh; Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, Acting Executive Director (Finance and Administration); Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Acting Executive Director (Projects); Mrs Caroline Nagbo (Member) and Cecilia Bukola Akintomide (Member.)

Inaugurating the new Acting Managing Director and Members on Wednesday, Senator Akpabio said President Buhari enlarged the Interim Management Committee to inject new blood into the Commission for better service delivery.

According to Senator Akpabio, change was inevitable in a Commission like the NDDC. He said the NDDC was passing through a phase that would soon be over and thanked President Buhari for giving the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs the responsibility of supervising the NDDC.

“The story of NDDC in the last 19 years has not been so rosy. The NDDC, we believe could have achieved more. You have a stunted child who could have been a six-footer. We need to find out the reason why the child could not grow. Is it that the child was not given enough nourishment?

“And then the country is looking at the fact that a lot of money has gone into the NDDC but we could not see commensurate result. I am not saying this to deride any particular person. I am not saying this to bring down anybody. I am not saying this to make a political point. I say this from the point of truism.

“I am a Niger Deltan and I believe in the Niger Delta. God has put us in the Niger Delta to make a difference. I had the opportunity of being a Governor in the Niger Delta and I left my mark behind. Nobody can deny that there was uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom State.

“I will like to see the NDDC build specialist hospitals. I will like to see the NDDC provide light to communities in darkness. I will like to see the NDDC support industrialization and food sufficiency in the Niger Delta. These things are possible, it is a question of commitment.

“I want to thank President Buhari for the interest he has shown in the Niger Delta region. That is why he ordered the forensic audit of the Commission. As soon as the forensic auditor was appointed, there was need to inject new blood into the Interim Management Committee. The NDDC must change and we will all work together to achieve that,” Senator Akpabio said.

Speaking further, Senator Akpabio advised the Interim Management Committee members to work as a team to achieve the goal set for them by President Buhari. He said as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, he was not interested in running the NDDC but he would be interested in how the NDDC is run.

The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura emphasized on the need for a synergy between the Ministry and the Commission. He said since President Buhari had in his wisdom asked the Ministry to supervise the Commission, the NDDC had no option than to work and deliver on their mandate with absolute cooperation between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC.

In his response, the new Acting Mangaing Director, Prof Pondei thanked President Buhari for the confidence reposed in them to manage the affairs of the NDDC and see through the forensic auditing of the Commission.

He promised to work together with other members of the Interim Management Committee to achieve the goal set ffor them. He solicited the cooperation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and said they would leave the Commission better than they have met it.

Senator Akpabio had earlier administered the oath of allegiance and oath of office to the new Acting Managing Director and Members.

The two new members are Cecilia Akintomide who is from Ondo State and Caroline Nagbo who is from Rivers State.

Mrs. Akintomide is said to be a strong ally of Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Minister of State in the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry and Sen. Akpabio’s deputy, while Evang. Caroline Nagbo, who incidentally hails from the same Senatorial axis with ousted Dr. Joi Nunieh, was the former APC Woman Leader in Rivers State and a staunch follower and loyalist of Transportation Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.