Buhari, Minister Differ on NDDC Audit Report Implementation
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, has stated that
his ministry is taking steps to review the audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent disclosure that a phased implementation of the report had commenced. In a keynote address he presented at a management retreat organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs penultimate week, Buhari had stated that his administration had commenced the implementation of the recommendations of the audit report
He said: “In pursuance of our determination to curb corruption and in response to the call of the governors of the South-south for a forensic audit of NDDC, I undertook some critical reforms and requested a forensic audit of NDDC from inception to 2019.
“The report of the audit has been
submitted and implementation of its recommendations has commenced
in phases. This process will soon usher in a new management and board
for the commission.”
However, while receiving a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, in Abuja Tuesday, the Niger Delta Affairs minister said his ministry was taking steps to review the already concluded audit report of the NDDC, adding that it would provide proper foundational template for the implementation and execution of projects in the region.
According to a statement issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe, “Umana stressed that the ministry is taking steps to review the already concluded audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as it would provide proper foundational template for the implementation and execution of projects in the region.”
The minister restated the commitment of his ministry in partnering with major stakeholders and development partners to ensure the development of the Niger Delta region and the country.
Commenting on oil theft in the region, he explained that although complicated, no option would be excluded in tackling the menace, adding that efforts were being made to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.
Umana promised to do his best to support efforts, initiatives and programmes that will lead to the ministry’s achievement of its objectives and mandate.
Earlier, the Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sharon Ikeazor, stated that there should be effective coordination of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to promote developmental projects in the region.
“The region would be highly interested in aqua-culture, therefore we would coordinate and research intervention partners and agencies that has been doing great job in the Niger Delta region without the knowledge of the ministry for the sustainability of the development of the region,” she stated.
Briefing the ministers on his activities while in office, the former presidential aides opined that the focus of his office has been on Niger Delta economic diversification.
“My office has been working with various MDAs to ensure programmes and projects such as agriculture (oil alternative programmes), fisheries are executed in the interest of the Niger Delta people, I therefore solicit for the continuation of the projects by the ministry in order to achieve the desired goal,” he stated.
Umana also received the Niger Delta Youth Council of Nigeria (NDYCN), while acknowledging the group as part of the critical stakeholders, pledged to work with them as inputs are needed from all stakeholders in the implementation of the ministry’s agenda and programmes that would impact positively on the Niger Deltans.