… As Interim Administrator Effiong Akwa, Directors Pays Courtesy Call On Gov Akeredolu
The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, says the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is in a new era of diversification and sustainable economic development.
Governor Akeredolu stated this yesterday when the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, led a team of the Commission’s management to pay him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Akure.
Akeredolu re-stated the position of other key Niger Delta stakeholders that the objective of the NDDC should be to drive sustainable development, commending the Commission for taking out time to engage critical stakeholders.
The governor said that the economic potentials in his state were diverse, urging the NDDC to partner with the government in making the needed investments. He remarked: “You can invest in our bitumen and cassava industry. This is important because the reliance on oil is waning. We can also partner to invest in tourism. There are many areas where we can work together.”
Akeredolu commended the NDDC for executing that the 132/33kv sub station that would provide electricity for over 2,000 communities in the southern part of the state. He said: “It is good that you are visiting the electricity project. It so important to us. We want light in the south of the state. We want this project to be commissioned. We have done some electricity projects on our own but it is not enough. Our people should know that light is coming. It has taken some time. But I assure you, light is coming.”
The governor regretted that the Ugbo-Arogbo Bridge and some other projects in the state were abandoned and urged the NDDC to work towards completing all its projects. He, however, expressed appreciation to the Commission for donating waste disposal trucks to the state government, observing that it would go a long way in keeping the environment clean.
In his address, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akwa, said it was important to engage and consult stakeholders of the Niger Delta and commended Governor Akeredolu’s commitment to developing the state.
He told the governor: “This visit is part of our ongoing engagement with important stakeholders of the Niger Delta region. When President Muhammadu Buhari, appointed me as Interim Administrator of the NDDC in December, he charged me to ensure, as a matter of urgency, that we rebuild the relationship between the Commission and its stakeholders.
“This is important because partnership is key to development. It rekindles our long-held tradition of brotherhood. It reaffirms that we are our brother’s keeper. This is who we have always been as Niger Deltans.”
Akwa noted that partnership was one of the key prescriptions of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
According to him: “It advocates for a shared vision, shared responsibility, shared commitment, as well as shared budgeting process and implementation of development initiatives. This way, we are able to do far more, with far less funds, than if we were duplicating projects and working alone.
“That was the spirit in fashioning a Master Plan for the Niger Delta, the vision of our shared allegiance to this great region. After so many years of neglect, it is important that, together, we do far more for our people. It is important that we do more for a region which has provided the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth, and accounted for our rise in the comity of nations.”
Akwa stressed the importance of revitalising the Commission’s Presidential Advisory Council, to ensure that NDDC works in harmony with our State Governors, as well as within the vision of each state, stating: “The past practice where the Commission undertook projects and programmes in the states, without first building a working coalition with the states governments, to integrate our plans, policies, projects and programmes into the state government’s overall master plan, will no longer hold. Because the state governments know more where the needs are, what the needs are, and how, working together, we can best bring development to our people.
“Our visit is both to acknowledge your strategic importance to Niger Delta development, as well as to seek ways in which we can forge a stronger alliance with the government and people of Ondo State. We offer both our hands and seek embrace, so that, together, we can build a region of which we can be eminently proud.
“We are determined to continue to make a difference in the Niger Delta region in general, and in Ondo State, in particular. We remain committed to providing projects and programmes of enduring quality. To build the Niger Delta is to build ourselves. To make it a better place is to give our people a better place. And that is what we are determined to do.”
The Interim Administrator later presented keys to three waste disposal trucks to the Ondo State Government to assist it in its efforts to improve the sanitary conditions in the state. He said that the NDDC had also donated hepatitis vaccines and medical equipment to the state.
Bandits: We Receive Weapons From SSS Agents, Also We Share Income
The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria.
Armed bandits terrorising different parts of Nigeria have disclosed that they have been receiving arms and ammunition from operatives of the State Security Service and often split ransom payments received at gunpoint.
The criminals told Deutsche Welle in a recent report that they “borrow weapons” from the state agents and then go to work to share ill-gotten gains together.
The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria which President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of being too lazy to address.
A spokesman for the SSS did not return a request seeking comments from Peoples Gazette about whether or not the secret police was aware of a possible alliance between its officers and armed bandits wreaking havoc across the country.
The report surfaced amidst widespread claims that Nigerian security forces are fueling insecurity for financial benefits. In 2018, Theophilus Danjuma, a former chief of army staff, said the Nigerian military and other state agents were actively supplying weapons to violent criminals waging a war against minority rural settlers in Nigeria’s north-central.
The Buhari administration denied the allegation, but several indications have emerged repeatedly since then that appeared to show that the government was not as concerned about the raging crisis.
Last week, Mr Buhari warned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, where armed militia elements have killed thousands and razed hundreds of villages since Mr Buhari assumed power in 2015, to either accept the controversial ruga policy or continue to endure violence with his people.
Last month, Mr Buhari also stood Isa Pantami, one of his cabinet ministers who was recently exposed as a hardline jihadist and lover of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and other groups and persons long associated with terrorism.
Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption hits record high of 93m litres
Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption hits record high of 93m litres
Nigeria’s daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol was at an unsustainable level at 93 million litres a day in April 2021 from an average of 61 million litres consumed in the previous months. This translates to a daily spend of N7.10 billion on subsidy.
Petrol consumption in West Africa is estimated at 120.80 million litres daily and at 93 million litres daily consumption, this means that Nigeria alone accounts for 77 percent of petrol consumption, even though it has 52 percent of West Africa’s population and accounts for 65 percent of the sub-region’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Major depots including Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Ltd (NPSC) in Ejigbo, Mosimi, Emadeb Energy’s depot, Matrix Energy’s depot, AYM Shafa’s depot, Aiteo’s depot among others lifted a total of 43.90 million litres, accounting for 47 percent of Nigeria’s daily evacuation. Smaller depots around the country make up for the difference.
How Suspended NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Ceded Intels Terminals To Dangote
Suspended Nigeria Ports Authority Manager, Hadiza Bala, was involved in a clandestine ploy to shortchange a company in favour of Africa’s richest, Aliko Dangote, documents obtained have revealed.
Last year, some coastline terminals formerly operated by Integrated Logistics Services’ (INTELs) in Onne ports complex, Rivers state, were confiscated and subsequently awarded to Dangote through a proxy company, International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) Nigeria limited.
Onne Port Complex is the one of the largest Oil and Gas Free Zone in Africa, where major industry players from the exploration up to the completion phases operate.
The complex has two major terminals namely the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT).
For over a decade, INTELs Nigeria, partly owned by former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar, operated some berths at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) of the complex, providing logistics services until 2020.
The three berths of FOT numbered 9, 10 and were taken over by the NPA in a controversial manner, which many thought was a move by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration move to witch-hunt Abubakar, his opponent in the 2019 election and break the company’s monopoly
The NPA, in September 2020, issued a notice, announcing that the service operation handled by the Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria had been terminated.
It went on to further state that all Service Boats Owners and Operators are to do transactions directly in each of the Port Complex of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Meanwhile, a memo released to the press, seen by Business Kobo showed that Usman had transferred the berths confiscated from INTELs to ICTSI, a proxy company traced to Dangote, five months earlier.
The leaked memo, dated May 13, was signed by Yusuf Ahmed, NPA’s Director of Lands & Asset Admin on behalf Usman
“Please refer to the lease of land and berths 9, 10 and 11 granted to you at FOT Onne and find attached herewith the draft Lease Agreement for a review of its possible contents before the final copy is produced for execution,” the letter addressed to the managing director of ICTSI read.
Ahmed urged the company to send their comments for consideration
“A registered surveyor will be appointed to produce the survey plan of the property to incorporation in the Lease Agreement and you will be required to see the surveyors fees,” it further read.
This was not Usman’s first time dealing with Dangote as money transfers between the duo dates back to 2015.
A Nigerian newspaper, Peoples Gazette, had previously reported how Dangote transferred N200 million to a bank account run by Usman during the build up of the 2015 general election.
The transactions were sent in two tranches from two different bank accounts of the Africa’s richest man to Ms. Bala Usman’s account with Access Bank, the newspaper reported.
“Ms. Bala Usman received the first N100 million transfer on February 6, 2015; while the second N100 million came through three days later on February 9. The transfers carried ambiguous descriptions that made it difficult to conclude their purpose.”
Ms Bala was recently instructed to step aside for an independent investigation into a series of allegations of impropriety.
Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, also alleged that the yearly remittance of operating surpluses by the regulatory body from 2016 to 2020 was short of the amount due for actual remittance — a claim, which according to him, should be investigated.
While details of some of other allegations against Usman remain unclear, sources said acts of favouritism were part.
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