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Niger Delta

Coalition Urges Buhari To Inaugurate NDDC Board

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A Coalition of Niger Delta groups on Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the governing board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) following confirmation of the nominees by the Senate.
The National Coordinator of the Coalition, Mr Jator Abido, made the call at Unity Fountain, Abuja during a solidarity match by the leadership of the Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators and other relevant stakeholders at the Presidential Villa.
It would be recalled that few months ago, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, had inaugurated an interim management team against the team whose names were submitted to the National Assembly by the President for screening. Abido, who was reading a position paper jointly signed by leadership of the Niger Delta groups, described the inauguration of an NDDC Interim Management Committee by Akpabio as illegal and alien to the NDDC establishment Act.
“Our collective decision to embark on a solidarity march to the Presidential Villa is to engage with relevant government officials and to also state our request that the recently confirmed NDDC Board should be inaugurated immediately by the President.
“The Senate few weeks ago concluded the screening and confirmation of the presidential nominees to the NDDC Board. The highlight of the exercise was the advice by the Senate, urging members of the new Board to assume duties immediately.
The implication of the Senate pronouncement is that the illegal interim management committee inaugurated by Akpabio, has been shut down permanently. This conclusion derives from provisions of the NDDC Act.
“The NDDC Act 2000 in section 1(1) establishes the Commission while section 2(1)(c) creates a Governing Board to oversee and run the affairs of the Commission which only the President has power to appoint and inaugurate after the screening and confirmation by the Senate as contained in section 2(2)(a) of the Act.
“At best, in the discharge of its duties and functions, the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs only has a responsibility to liaise with the NDDC board in order to avoid duplication wherever their functions overlap. No more no less!
“It is therefore legally and morally wrong for the minister to inaugurate a committee to oversee the board,” the National coordinator said.
According to him, the Coalition is looking forward to timely intervention of the President.(NAN)

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Niger Delta

Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim

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Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service

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Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.

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Niger Delta

Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death

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The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.

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