the support and collaboration of his committee in the task of developing
the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during the oversight visit of the Senate Committee at the NDDC
permanent headquarters in Port Harcourt, Senator Nwaboshi stated that
the Commission’s strategy of engagement and collaboration was important
for progress in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “The Interim Administrator, Mr Efiong Akwa, has been so nice in
terms of reaching out, communicating and discussing. He opened
discussions with us. He apologised for whatever happened in the past and
he told us that he is ready to work for the people of the Niger Delta
region. We are happy that he accepted that there is need for cooperation
and collaboration for Niger Delta to move forward.”
The Senate Committee Chairman assured that they would continue to
collaborate with the Interim Administrator and the NDDC for as long as
Akwa remained as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission.
Nwaoboshi stressed: “We don’t have any problem with anybody. Let’s be
clear on that. This committee has no problem with anybody. But if in the
course of our oversight function, we step on toes, it is because it is
our duty. What happened in the past happened in the course of our
He told the NDDC boss: “No commission is perfect because you cannot
satisfy everybody. You started well by bringing peace and giving people
the opportunity to discuss. I assure you that we have an open mind to
collaborate and cooperate in the interest of the Niger Delta region.”
Nwaboshi, Said further: “The Interim Administrator appeared before us
and we told him that to whom much is given, much is expected. We are
here to represent the Senate and our function is to make sure that the
interest of the people of the Niger Delta region are protected. We
oversight the NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Presidential
Nwaoboshi expressed delight over the completion of the NDDC permanent
headquarters, noting that the Committee had appropriated N16 billion for
the completion of the headquarters building.
He stated: “We are happy to sit at the headquarters today. Yes it has
taken time and money, but the fact is that it is completed today. We
have come to see how the money has been used in executing the project.
We want to know whether the money was well spent.
“We told him that we are not going to visit the sins of others on him.
The reported bench warrant for the arrest of the Interim Administrator
is not true. I have cross-checked with the committee chairman and he
said they were yet to take action on that.”
Nwaoboshi remarked that the Senate was still investigating the issues
connected with the NDDC COVID-19 palliative funds, adding: “We are aware
that the NDDC Interim Administrator was not part of the NDDC leadership
team at the time.”
He noted that Akwa was appointed as Acting Executive Director, Finance
and Administration of the Commission in August 2020, a month after the
National Assembly probed the matter, stating that he was not a party to
any of the transactions on the palliatives
Welcoming members of the Senate Committee, to the NDDC permanent
headquarters, the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Akwa, thanked
them for the oversight visit.
The NDDC boss commended the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs for
their unflinching support for the NDDC noting that the support was
critical for the development and progress of the Niger Delta region.
Akwa said: For about a year we had misunderstanding with some members of
the National Assembly. The members are noble men and they had to bend
backwards to bury the hatchet in the interest of the region. When I went
to the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives to
defend the 2020 budget, they cooperated with us. I assured them that we
will insist on doing the right thing at the NDDC.
The Interim Administrator later took members of the Senate Committee on
a tour of the newly completed headquarters complex.