NPA Boss, Koko Congratulates New Ministers of Transportation

*We ‘II reposition Ministry of Science, Technology, Ikoh pledges

*Niger Delta elders welcome Umana, task him on NDDC board inauguration 

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja and Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko, has congratulated Muazu Jaji Sambo and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye on their appointment as Minister and Minister of State for Transportation respectively.

In a message sighted on his social media handle, Koko wrote: “Congratulations to Muazu Jaji Sambo and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye on your appointments by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari as the Honourable Minister and Minister of State for Transportation respectively.”
The NPA Chief Executive added that, “your wealth of experience and track record of excellent performance will undoubtedly add fillip to ongoing efforts at improving efficiency and advancing the frontiers of trade facilitation.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of States Science and Technology, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, yesterday said the new leadership of the Ministry plans to reposition science and technology in the country to drive technological growth and address the burden of unemployment within seven months.
Iko who spoke at a reception organised by friends and associates in Abuja, to celebrate his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, stressed that science and technology was all about wealth, job creation and innovation and creativity, noting that such would help keep the youths gainfully employed.
He said he was bringing his wealth of experience on board to explore the science and technology sector alongside relevant stakeholders in the sector.
He said: “Well before now, I was a Commissioner for Industry, Science and Technology in my state. Science and technology is all about wealth and job creation. It’s all about innovation. It’s all about creativity.

“President Muhammadu Buhari deems it necessary to appoint some of us. What we have is to deliver and I can assure you, within seven months, we’re going to deliver in terms of making sure that our youth are gainfully employed, innovation.”

He noted that the idea would be achievable, “via training the trainer. We are bringing skills, every graduate, every student, everybody must be trained in a trade.”
“In the past, we used to have handwork from primary school. But nowadays there is no such thing anywhere.
“People will continue to graduate, and not add value. This must change. We are going back to the grassroots.
“We are going to do basic, and we will also ensure that corps members before rounding up their National Youth Service Corps programme must have a trade,” he said.

In a related development, elders in the Niger Delta area have welcomed the new Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, expressing optimism that he would correct all the wrongs done to the people in the past.

The elder statesmen under the aegis of Niger Delta Elders Forum (NDEF) reiterated their call for the inauguration of a substantive Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which had been lingering since 2019.

In a statement signed by its National President, Chief Tonye Ogbogbula, the NDEF commended Buhari for appointing Umana, who they described as a, “distinguished Niger Delta patriot to the exalted position of the minister of Niger Delta Affairs.”

The group expressed optimism that the new minister would turn things around for the good of the people of Niger Delta, adding that Umana’s promise that he would ‘meet the yearnings of the people if the Niger Delta for development’ was encouraging.

The NDEF took a swipe at the immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, saying that his, “numerous illegal actions in the NDDC while in office de-marketed the APC and the Federal Government” and blighted the Niger Delta area.
“Niger Deltans are therefore understandably very upset with the disdainful manner the region has been treated,” the group stated.

“There is increasing anger against the federal government and the APC in the Niger Delta region as a result of the very poor, biased, illegal and provocative actions”.

The NDEF leader noted that with Umana’s inauguration into office on Wednesday, hope was renewed in the Niger Delta as people anxiously wait for a better deal and an end to the “illegality ” of interim management.

“It is now apposite to state that it is time to right the wrongs done to the region in the past three years of Godswill Akpabio’s tenure by inaugurating the substantive Board of the NDDC, an action that will be in compliance with the law setting up the Commission, the NDDC Act,” the group said.

The Niger Delta elders stated that their position on the need to halt the illegalities at NDDC was in consonance with the position of, “authentic stakeholders who have consistently demanded that the NDDC Act should be complied with in the governance of the Commission during and after the period of the much touted forensic audit.”

“It is illegal to have contraptions of interim management committees/sole administrator to begin to administer the NDDC and arbitrarily utilise the monthly sums due to the NDDC,” the Elders insisted.

The NDEF noted that Umana, who is a technocrat and financial expert was expected to work the talk having already promised that ‘together we can create the necessary impact and make the difference for the people of Nigeria and the Niger Delta.”

The group yet again kicked against the “continued administration of the NDDC by a sole administrator (as) the NDDC Act has no provision for this illegality”.
“Nobody is supposed to begin to administer the NDDC and utilise the huge funds accruing to it on a monthly basis without passing through the legal requirement as stipulated in the NDDC Act,” the Elders said.

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