Akpabio’s Never-ending Antics at NDDC


By Ebizomor Brisibe

A story in The Nation newspaper of Sunday, November 7, 2021, entitled “FG To Merge NDDC With Niger Delta Ministry” is both inviting and insulting to the Niger Delta people. While the paper did no longer attribute its speculative legend to any issue Federal Executive expedient, it once more signifies the awful mess that Chief Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has fabricated from the put’s fashion agency. Chief Akpabio has opened the Niger Delta Pattern Fee to specious experiences, speculations and innuendos following two years of his illegal intervening time management contraptions.

On the replace hand, attractive how fickle the Buhari Administration has change into and its rising various choices in opposition to the people of the Niger Delta put and its reluctance to withhold the minister to memoir, that is no longer going to be farfetched to carry out that Akpabio and his acolytes were flying a kite with that legend.

It would seem that Akpabio has change into so cushty within the latitude the federal authorities has given him to continue to toy with the relaxed peace within the Niger Delta states. After a rigmarole of a controversial forensic audit, a helpful excuse by which he got to nominate Period in-between Managements for the NDDC in contravention of the NDDC Act, the promise to originate a substantive/loyal Board has peaceful no longer been met. Rather, specious propositions are being made within the public space, developing stress within the Niger Delta states.

Here’s why Niger Deltans get risen up as one to impeach the board’s inauguration. The Ijaw Nationwide Congress only within the near past in a assertion signed by its President, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, condemned “the endured existence of the grossly illegal automobile of Period in-between Administration on the NDDC and the monumental deception of the Presidency and the Niger Delta Convey by the Period in-between contraption and its promoters.” What the federal authorities and Akpabio get created within the Niger Delta is a tenuous case of Peace of the graveyard. In trying to sell the dummy of a merger of the ministry and the NDDC, the promoters are courting difficulty. If something else, it’s a long way the ministry that ought to present blueprint, else, why can we now get the North East Pattern Fee (NEDC) functioning unhindered with its substantive/loyal Board and no longer reporting to any Minister or ministry of the Federal Executive? How does anybody then originate to point out that what’s no longer being carried out to the North East Pattern Fee (NEDC) need to peaceful be carried out to the Niger Delta Pattern Fee (NDDC). Why need to peaceful the Federal Executive continue to get a look on the Legislation within the case of the NEDC and refuse to get a look on the law within the case of the NDDC. The Buhari Administration is showing utmost disdain and dismiss for the Niger Delta people and treating us so shabily. There’s rising arouse in opposition to the Federal Executive and the APC within the Niger Delta put as a outcomes of the very unpleasant, biased, illegal and welcoming actions of the Federal Executive within the handling of matters referring to the NDDC and the Niger Delta put.

For the avoidance of doubt and for loyal guidance, NDDC is an Act of Parliament established by “Niger-Delta Pattern Fee (Establishment etc) Act 2000 Act No 6 Felony pointers of the Federation of Nigeria.” As a end result, no trade in anyway, no matter how miniscule, would possibly per chance well even be effected to the blueprint in which of governing the Fee through an executive administrative fiat of the Federal Executive, nonetheless only through a course of of Nationwide Assembly amendment or repeal of the NDDC institution Act.

To make certain, NDDC, essentially based on its institution Act, NDDC is a Fee put-up by law to cater to the irregular wants of the Niger Delta people and majorly funded by statutory allocations intended for the constituent 9 (9) Niger Delta states. And, in that regard, the Act presents for a Governing Board with representatives from each and every of the 9 constituent states. It moreover presents for an Advisory Committee comprising the Governors of the 9 constituent states. As a end result it cannot be whimsically transferred to a Ministry of the Federal Executive.

The law is unambiguous on this because in Allotment 14 (1 & 2) of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000, Number 6, it categorically states thus: “The Fee shall save and retain a fund from which will likely be defrayed all expenditure incurred by the Fee. (2) There will likely be paid and credited to the fund established pursuant to subsection (1) of this allotment- (a) from the Federal Executive, the identical of 15 percent of the full monthly statutory allocations as a end result of member States of the Fee from the Federation Yarn; this being the contribution of the, Federal Executive to the Fee- (b) 3 percent of the full annual budget of any oil producing firm working, on shore and off shore, within the Niger-Delta Home; together with gas processing firms; (c) 50 percent of monies as a end result of member States of the Fee from the Ecological Fund.”

So, on what basis and backed by which law will the NDDC be forcefully merged with the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and for the ministry to originate to acceptable funds lawfully accruable to NDDC? Pointless to yelp, it’s a long way same outdated recordsdata that the Minister has been extra drawn to the funds of the NDDC than within the advance of the Niger Delta states. This informs the full contraption that has been the lot of the NDDC since October 2019 when an illegal Period in-between Administration was foisted within the commission and the people of the put.

The promoters of the speculative legend are clearly working with fifth columnists to create this pointless subterfuge to motive disaffection within the put at a serious time that Niger Deltans are alive to on, and legitimately, tense that the Federal Executive need to peaceful directly originate the substantive Board of NDDC, that is already lengthy past due, moreso following President Buhari’s promise on June 24, 2021 when he hosted the management of Ijaw Nationwide Congress, that he will originate the Board of the Fee upon receipt of the legend of the Fee’s forensic audit, which legend he acquired since September 2, 2021.

The President promised: ‘‘Basically based mostly on the mismanagement that had beforehand bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was put up and the end result is anticipated by the dwell of July, 2021. I get to guarantee you that as soon because the forensic audit legend is submitted and authorized, the NDDC Board will likely be inaugurated.”

At a time that the stress within the full put is at fever pitch, when all stakeholders, males, girls, youths, outmoded institutions, civil society organisations, expert groups, elders, and governors, are already actually provoked on the continuing lengthen within the inauguration of the NDDC Board, Niger Deltans will for sure no longer glean any ploy by no matter potential to complicate matters on the NDDC and tumble the put into avoidable crisis.

  • Ebizomor Brisibe is the President of Niger Delta United Congress