South-South Group Hails Appointment of Umana as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The South South Reawakening Group (SSRG) yesterday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of Mr. Umana Okon Umana as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

A statement signed by the Convener of SSRG, Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo, said that the appointment of Umana would bring fresh air and respite to the Niger Delta region.

Ambakederimo said: “The deployment of Mr. Umana Okon Umana has brought a breath of fresh air and respite to the beleaguered Niger Delta region, the deployment has brought with it the euphoria of Eldorado and a new lease of life for our people.”

The SSRG thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving a listening ear to the appeal by the people of the region and expressed confidence that Umana would not disappoint giving his background as an astute administrator.

“Indeed, we are extremely excited for this deployment because we can attest to the capacity and competencies of Umana been an astute administrator coupled with the feat he has accomplished when he held sway at the helm of affairs at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone.

“This single deployment of Umana has further rekindle our confidence on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who by all means is finishing strong.”  

The SSRG, however, admonished the Minister to avoid the pitfalls that abound in the Ministry and the NDDC which he is going to supervise, noting that the region has been stagnated in real growth in terms of infrastructural development and human capacity building which goes contrary to the set out objectives.

“The most important issue facing the Niger Delta region now is dearth of world class infrastructure that is practically missing therefore there is need to look at this direction and revisit the Niger Delta Development Master Plan and where necessary begin the process of implementing the immediate items in the master plan that can bring some respite to the region.

“Going further, we urge the minister to as a matter of national emergency quickly inaugurate the substantive board already screened and approved by the senate in order for the board to hit the ground running.

“We are hungry for the NDDC to be brought back to its former glory. The era of when NDDC letter of contract award is like a “Hot Cake” must be brought back and thus can be achieved by the Minister working with all stakeholders, also of equal importance is the payment of contractors, some whom have been owed upward of five years,” it added. 

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