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Give NDDC Interim Admin A Chance, Group Urges IYC, Others



Against the backdrop of series of protest against the appointment of an interim administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a group styled Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) has on called on the leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), and other groups involved in the series of attacks to stop and give the new administrator a chance to prove his capacity over the affairs of the commission.
The umbrella body of the Ijaw youths under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), the Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide (AYFW), and many others have kicked against the appointment of the newly appointed interim administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
But the LPCDI, through its President, Comrade Clifford Wilson, called on the agitating youths against the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that the new Administrator, Mr. Okon Akwa has a listening hear and should be given a chance to steer the affairs of the commission and clear the messes on the ground before a substantive board can be appointed.
The LPCDI, which was made up of Phase One Ex-militant leaders, again expressed their appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari over Mr. Okon Akwa’s appointment, and pledged total support for his administration.
Meanwhile, the new Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa, says the commission would redeem its image and foster more collaboration with state governments in the Niger Delta region.
He made the declaration at the fourth meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
Akwa stated that NDDC would do its best to strengthen the relationship between the commission and the governments of the Niger Delta, to make them partners and not competitors.
The new NDDC boss underlined the need for collaboration with critical stakeholders to drive the process of development in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “The Niger Delta Development is ready, we have come up with a theme: ‘Redeeming the image of NDDC that will drive the commission. Gone are the days when you hear of supply of desks and chairs, we will engage the governors, the royal fathers and other stakeholders of the region, so that we harmonize the needs assessment and set our priorities right and also get them tackled. There should not be any competition, we will work together as a team and the tax payer’s money would not be wasted.
“We are lucky that we have an uncommon minister that is ready and passionate for development. Luckily for us we have President Muhammadu Buhari that has a deep seated love for the people of Niger Delta region. It was for this reason that despite the political opposition that we have, President Buhari is still committed to the development of the Niger Delta region.
“Whatever we are going to do, will be a product of structured planning that will put all the energies of the Niger Delta states together. The Niger Delta states will be integrated, such that in the next few years, Niger Delta region will be a force to reckon with. It will be a region that investors would run to.
“I want to plead that the peace that is currently reigning in the Niger Delta should be maintained because there is no meaningful development that can take place without peace. We have the best behaved youths with what we see around. We have a good level of corporation from our royal fathers as they also give the youths a good sense of direction, hence with all these efforts, the Niger Delta region is poised for the best.”
The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said that Port Harcourt was the investment hub in Nigeria, stating that the theme of the meeting; “Achieving Uncommon Development in the Niger Delta region: Road Mark and Strategy,” was inspiring and instructive. We need the political will and commitment to drive the development plans for the Niger Delta region.
She lamented that the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan remained largely unimplemented to this date, decrying what she termed as the increasing rate of abandoned projects in the Niger Delta which she blamed on the frequent changes in leadership of the NDDC and poor monitoring of projects.
She said, however, “We are happy that today we have a new and improved leadership at NDDC. We expect changes from the new administration. We expect to see uncommon changes in the region, especially as we have the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio in the saddle.”
Banigo said that a Rivers State High Court recently ordered that the NDDC should work in concert with the state governments in the region to ensure that stakeholders maximize the resources in the region and get the greatest impact for the people of the region.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG



The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu



The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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