Why Abubakar Momoh Will Not Succeed As Niger Delta Minister

Why Abubakar Momoh Will Not Succeed As Niger Delta Minister—Attah

Why Abubakar Momoh Will Not Succeed As Niger Delta Minister

OpenLife Nigeria reports that exactly a year ago, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detained the Director, Finance and Account of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Eno Otu, over corruption allegations.
According to sources at the EFCC, Mr Otu was grilled by operatives of the anti graft agency in relation to a case of alleged diversion of over N25 billion tax remittances.

The suspect who arrived at the commission in the early hours of Wednesday, 24 August, 2022 was interrogated and grilled thoroughly.

Source disclosed that the arrest was part of a larger investigation of the forensic audit report of the NDDC.

Earlier, the EFCC, had in May of same year, detained a former Managing Director of the NDDC, Nsima Ekere, over corruption allegations.

Mr Ekere, who served as the managing director and chief executive officer of the NDDC between 2017 and 2018, was investigated over allegations of contract inflation and award of fictitious contracts during his time in office.

Mr Ekere, who allegedly committed the offences starting from 2017, allegedly laundered funds from NDDC accounts through contractors to buy choice properties in Lagos.

In like manner, the senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions, around October 2022, summoned Umana Okon Umana, then Minister of Niger Delta affairs, over allegations of unauthorised projects and corruption.

Ayo Akinyelure, chairman of the panel, disclosed at a news conference in Abuja that the committee had met and resolved that the minister should be invited based on the strength of a petition against him.

Ayo Akinyelure who further disclosed that the minister would appear “on November 10, 2022 by 2pm, alleged that Umana Okon Umana was aiding corrupt practices and had failed to inaugurate the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Senate committee chairman exposed that the minister sacked over 700 staff of the NDDC without following due process even as he was also alleged to be compiling projects not appropriated by then President Muhammadu Buhari to get N480 billion in funds of the agency domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Our people in the Niger Delta region where funds are being generated for the country are in a state of comatose, ” Ayo Akinyelure lamented adding that “There is a lot of higher level mismanagement of resources due to the development of the Niger Delta region. ”

Above is a highlight of the rot in in the circle of the ministry and intervention agency saddled with the responsibility of offering succor to minimize the suffering of the people. However, opposite has been the case.

Speaking on the issues Thursday morning on Arise TV, Chief Obong Attah, former governor of Akwa Ibom State said what government is currently doing to enthrone development in the Niger Delta is off the line.

His remarks came against the backdrop of setting agenda for the new Minister of Niger Delta, Engineer Abubakar Momoh.
According to Chief Obong Attah, federal government’s intention to develop the Niger Delta region is highly appreciated.

He however noted that the methodology is faulty and cannot generate sustainable result which has been the case sine the rebirth of democratic practice in Nigeria in 1999.

The former governor emphasized that a well laid out regional plan is the way to go for the Niger Delta region and that does not require “large bureaucracy.”

He stated that Abubakar Momoh, the newly sworn in Minister of Niger Delta, “Cannot do much. He cannot do more than what is provided for him in the budget. And most times, what one hears is that the budget is just on paper and that the actual funds are not released,” he disclosed.

Arising from the paucity of funds as well as non-release of funds which have combined to slow down developments in the Niger Delta region, Attah disclosed that what the region has been getting from both NDDC and Minister of Niger Delta are text books for pupils and school chairs.

He stressed that such menial deliverables cannot deliver the region from poverty.

As a remedy, Attah pointed out that wholesale regional rail, electricity and water supply plans should be the focus of government.

To achieve that, Attah said stakeholders should push for 100 percent resource control for the region.

“100 percent resource control is the only solution. NDDC should not even exist, in the first instance. NDDC was set up to empower supporters of the President. There should be regional plans like effective rail system, erosion control, water supply etc,” Attah who governed Akwa Ibom State between 1999 and 2007 said.


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