Ministry inaugurates new NDDC board

Minister of Niger Delta of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani

Minister of Niger Delta of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, yesterday inaugurated members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.

While declaring the 15 board members as duly inaugurated, Usani said they were expected to resume their duties with immediate effect.The minister noted that the most challenging parastatal below the status of a ministry is the NDDC and urged the newly appointed members to perform their duties with due diligence and patience.

While congratulating them, the minister charged members to get back to the Act establishing the commission and attempt to interpret what their functions are.

He said: “As a ministry, we are only charged to receive your reports, it is after we receive your reports we know what to do with them.
“The National Assembly has the oversight function of checking all details pertaining to the check and balances. The board will have to meet in a year especially, because of the economic handicap affecting the country”.

The minister added that the various agencies in the tiers of government that has anything to do with the Niger Delta region will support in their various capacities, while the ministry, the National Assembly in their oversight functions will as much as possible work with board and the NDDC management to adhere strictly to their functionalities without crossing boundaries.

Responding, Chairman of the commission, Senator Ndoma-Egba (SAN), on behalf of the newly inaugurated board, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added that the new members are determined to change the narrative of the Niger Delta region. He said the NDDC was envisaged as a regional body and it will be transparent and follow due process along with carrying out its mandate including the formulation of policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta area.

The minister had earlier added that two members representing Abia and Ondo states, who were yet to be cleared for the processes, would be revealed in due season and their inauguration would take place accordingly.

However, a nominee from Imo State has withdrawn his nomination.Meanwhile Cross Riverians have charged Ndoma-Egba to clean up the rot in the system, especially regarding abandoned contracts, issues of frivolous contracts and debts.

A former governor of Cross River State, Dr. Clement Ebri, described Ndoma-Egba’s appointment as “oxygen to Cross River State and the Niger Delta.”

Ebri, who described Ndoma-Egba’s appointment as “ten appointments” in one, said, “he has the capacity, acumen, credibility and integrity and we are all proud of him.”

He charged the people of the region to give the new board their support saying: “There is so much to repair in the NDDC. A lot has been destroyed.

“Ndoma-Egba should go and tidy up that place and make it prosperous to the Niger Delta and the nation at large.”On his part, the immediate past senator from Southern Senatorial District, Prince Bassey Otu, charged the new NDDC boss to continue the tradition of Cross Riverians in the federal service.

He said: “The NDDC is an interventionist agency hat has been left in a state of great mess. God has sent a man of peace to the NDDC. We solicit support from all to give him necessary backing to succeed.”

A former commissioner in the state, Rev. Grace Ekanem, expressed confidence in Ndoma-Egba and Nsima Ekere saying both men are experienced and can deliver on the job.She urged them to seize the opportunity to develop the Niger Delta and duel on infrastructure and educational development.

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