I’ll reposition NNDC to meet core mandate, Niger Delta Minister Umana Okon Umana promises

Umana Okon Umana, Niger Delta Affairs Minister

By Barbara Kalu –

New Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, has said that under his leadership, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will be repositioned and rebranded to achieve its core mandate as a vehicle to drive the socio-economic development of the region.

Umana said a management retreat of the Ministry to be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari later this month was being planned to draw up a roadmap for a new era in both the ministry and the NDDC.

The minister explained that the objectives of the retreat would be in line with the policy goals of repositioning the commission.

Umana, who was briefing the press at the end of a meeting with his senior management team in Abuja Wednesday, addressed many policy issues in both the NDDC and the ministry.

He queried the non-connection of the NDDC head office in Port Harcourt to public power supply, and the “disproportionate recruitment of staff during the COVID-19 lockdown,” and said the ministry would look into petitions over irregular promotions and deployment of staff in the NDDC.

He directed that a list of all completed projects in the NDDC awaiting payments should be published for public scrutiny, while a stakeholders’ forum should be held to review existing templates for project delivery.

Umana said the ministry would prioritise project execution and payments that deliver up the most impact for the country. He said the new focus in project execution would shift to “security, health, education, water and road infrastructure.” and directed that all further award of contracts on water hyacinths in the Niger Delta should be suspended while all such ongoing projects should be reviewed.

He announced that the review of the Forensic Audit Report on the operations of the NDDC is being concluded and said he was committed to the implementation of its recommendations.

The minister also said action was being taken to constitute the board of the NDDC in line with the extant law that set up the commission.

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