President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Abuja, said the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was being reviewed, with a view to recovering every kobo that is recoverable.
He also gave assurance that those found culpable would face the law.
Speaking at the virtual commissioning of the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, the president said it was regrettable that the special development fund of the entire region was squandered by a few for more than 20 years, leaving many in penury.
“The Niger Delta Development Commission needs to demonstrate that it can achieve the objectives it was conceived for and make its impact felt all over the Niger Delta region. The lives of the people of the Niger Delta could be so much better, if the funding received by this commission since its inception, in billions of naira over the last 20 years, have been judiciously deployed in service of the people.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institutional decay, are the reasons why I called for the forensic audit.
“Therefore, going forward, we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region and those found culpable shall face the law.
“Consequently, I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the commission, and to ensure this is done transparently and according to laid down procedure and process,” he said.
Buhari directed that all abandoned projects that directly impact the livelihood of the people should be revived and completed.
“When I directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to institute a forensic audit of the commission, after many representations by major stakeholders in the Niger Delta, I had also directed that all viable projects which had been abandoned, but which would impact positively on the lives and livelihoods of the people, be immediately revived and completed.”
Buhari noted that the contract for the building of 1,050 capacity hostel for male and female students was awarded in 2004, and like many others, it was abandoned.
“This prototype university hostel consists of 1,050 bed spaces, 525 each for males and females, and is furnished to meet the needs of a university student. The complex also boasts of significant hard and soft infrastructure to ensure its sustainability and durability.
“The completion of this structure is equally in recognition of the importance government attaches to providing quality housing and improved education for all Nigerians.
“It is, therefore, another important proof that this administration is committed to satisfying the needs of the people, throughout Nigeria, and fulfilling their expectations. Government must continue in its efforts to serve the people, by providing amenities, as well as the enabling environment for scholarships, investments across all sectors, for sustenance of the environment, and overall growth of the economy.
“Significant part of this success story is that it could easily not have happened. The contract for this hostel was awarded as far back as 2004. It was one of many projects abandoned across the Niger Delta region, but which I directed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, to expeditiously complete and put to use,’’ the president added.
The president said across many public universities and institutions of higher learning children face accommodation challenges, while private investors were taking advantage of the gap to provide accommodation, unfortunately tasking the resources of parents and guardians.
“Many of them are located far away from school premises and come with their own peculiar challenges. It is good that such an infrastructure gap is being addressed, by providing accommodation for students that would be affordable, well built, and in a secure environment,’’ he said.
The president noted that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on his behalf, commissioned the Special Protection Unit, Base 6 Barracks in Omagwa, Rivers State, which was built and donated by the Niger Delta Development Commission to the Nigeria Police Force.
“Firstly, and as stated at that occasion, the complex is part of a crucial component of the major reform we are undertaking with the Nigerian Police Force. While we are working to increase the number of police personnel, within set yearly targets, and re-equip personnel, both in personal gear and hardware, accommodation remains an important feature of that reform. Indeed, it showed that we can alleviate the accommodation challenges of senior security personnel in order to enhance security in the region.
“Secondly, this singular intervention demonstrates that NDDC understands the importance of government’s effort at improving the lives and livelihoods of our police officers, in line with my directive that building of barracks for men and women of the police force should be done in collaboration with the special housing effort of the Family Home funds.’’
In his remarks, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the completion of the NDDC headquarters complex and other projects clearly showed the president’s commitment to improving the livelihood of people in the Niger Delta.
“President Buhari is focused on development of Nigeria and the Niger Delta.
“The president wants to ensure that by the time he leaves office, the NDDC is repositioned to live up to the expectations of the founding fathers,’’ he added.
The Sole Administrator of NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa, thanked the president for always honouring the institution by commissioning three projects in a year.
“The three projects have one thing in common, they were all abandoned before the forensic audit,’’ he added.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Prof. Nyaudoh Ukpabio Ndaeyo, and the student union also appreciated the president for the intervention, with presentation of awards.
See Fubara’s Victory As God’s Design, Wike Tells Rivers PDP
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described the victory of Hon Siminialayi Fubara at the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as God’s design.
The PDP gubernatorial primary held, last Wednesday, at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke after Fubara was declared the winner of the primary, said so many people strove to clinch the slot but only one person can emerge.
The governor also declared that with the victory of Fubara, Rivers PDP now has a candidate that will fly its flag in the 2023 governorship election.
“I never knew I’ll be governor when I became governor. You have also heard what the candidate said that he never knew he will become PDP candidate.
“But to the glory of God, he is the candidate of PDP. This is because power comes from God. Whoever God says will be, will be.”
Wike pointed out that when it comes to producing the governor of the state, all tribes need to work together on it because no one particular tribe can do it alone.
He said because his administration has performed credibly well in the state, any candidate that the party presents will easily win in the 2023 general election.
“With the performance of our administration, and with what we have achieved in this state, there is no candidate that PDP will present that will not win election.
“Our campaign focus will be like this, that we made promises to the state to do roads and other projects, ask us, have we done them? Yes, we have.
“We will ask them (other parties), what have you done for Rivers State? Certainly nothing. So, who tells you that any other party can come and win this state? Let no one deceive you about that.”
Wike explained that after the presidential primary, PDP leaders in Rivers State will set up a team that will work to ensure that the party wins the 2023 gubernatorial election.
He expressed optimism that those who believe in the party will be dutiful in working for the candidate to win.
In his acceptance speech, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State, described his victory as evidence of grace.
He called on all party faithful to support his victory and the new drive to consolidate on the achievements of Wike’s administration.
“It is victory for Fubara. It is victory for the party. It is not just victory for the party, but victory for moving the state forward.
“The purpose of this special event this night is also to consolidate on the achievements, on every side, of this present administration.
“We are going to work together to sustain the work that this administration has already done for us.”
In his opening address, the Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor said the party was poised to conduct a peaceful and successful gubernatorial primary.
Akawor explained that the party was delighted to have conducted peaceful congresses in the 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the state, including primaries for state and National Assembly.
Declaring the result of the gubernatorial primary, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, said Hon Siminialayi Fubara, polled a total of 721 votes to emerge PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
He explained that Isaac Kamalu polled 86 votes to emerge second position, while Dax Alabo George Kelly polled 37 votes and Tammy Danagogo polled 36 votes.
Also, he said, Chief West Morgan polled 4 votes, David Briggs 4 votes and Brother Felix Obuah polled 2 votes, while eight votes were voided.
“The delegate list that we have has a total number of delegates expected to vote as 980. Total number of accredited out of this 980, 898 delegates were accredited. The total number of votes cast in this election is 898. The total number of valid votes cast is 890. 8 votes were voided.”
FAAC: FG, States, LGCs Share N656.602bn Revenue
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N656.602billion as April 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, states and local government councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the FAAC for May 2022.
The N656.602billion total revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N461.189billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N166.522billion, the sum of N8.891billion being excess bank charges recovered and augmentation of N20billion.
In April 2022, the total deductions for the cost of collection were N29.609billion and the total deductions for transfers and refunds were N147.651billion.
Director (Information, Press and Public Relations), Office of the Accountant General of Federation, HenshawOgubike, said in a statement, yesterday, that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N656.602billion; the Federal Government received N257.611billion, State Governments got N201.256billion and the Local Government Councils received N149.251billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N635.037billion was received for the month of April 2022.
This was lower than the N933.304billion received in the previous month by N298.267billion.
From the N461.189billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N217.412billion, the State Governments got N110.275billion and the Local Government Councils received N85.017billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared with the relevant States as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of April 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N178.825billion.
This was lower than the N219.504billion available in the month of March 2022 by N40.679billion.
From the N166.522billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N24.978billion, the State Governments got N83.261billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N58.283billion.
The Federal Government got N4.684billion; the State Governments received N2.376billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N1.831billion from the N8.891billion Excess Bank Charges recovered.
The N20.00billion augmentation was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N10.536billion, the State Governments got N5.344billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.120billion.
According to the communiqué, in the month of April 2022, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties increased marginally, while Oil and Gas Royalties, Import Duty, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) all recorded significant decreases.
Children’s Day: FG Establishes Family Court In 16 States
Ahead of this year’s International Children’s Day celebration, the Federal Government has established family courts in 16 states to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday noted that the establishment of family courts resulted from the effective advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law across the country.
According to her, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake-Up Call.’
The minister noted that despite efforts by the government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse, and others.
She said, “As a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it will seem as if we are not doing enough.
“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and offline.
“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out a series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.
“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy”.
Tallen also said that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the technical working group on ending violence against children in the country.
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