The Oasis Reporters
December 13, 2020
When President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) via Femi Adesina following reported financial misappropriations at the agency, watchers of the interventionist agency quickly cast their minds to the impatient and angry riposte of development minded Edo State governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki who had banned the NDDC from carrying out any project in the state, unless the state government was a part of the planning and implementation of it.
For an agency to be at loggerheads with a partner state was not only bad politics, but a sign of the end of the management’s mandate.
Obaseki himself who crossed over from Buhari’s APC to the opposition PDP, the political party that is predominant in the Niger Delta region, won a reelection freely and squarely based on solid achievements, was bound to be a highly respected kingpin-governor.
Therefore when Obaseki with the highly sought after credentials of building a refinery in an oil producing country that largely imports fuel owning comatose refineries, then also constructs an electricity power plant, it was therefore only natural that whatever he says would carry a lot of weight.
Soon after he declared NDDC, persona non grata in Edo State, other governors of the Niger Delta region echoed his sentiments, with President Buhari listening attentively and discreetly. The interim management of the NDDC began to count it’s days.
Read Femi Adesina in his tweet:
President Buhari approves interim administrator for the NDDC— Femi Adesina (@FemAdesina) December 12, 2020
He is Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, the Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, who is to assume headship till completion of the forensic audit.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Femi Adesina made this known in a statement on Saturday.
According to the statement, President Buhar has approved Mr Effiong Okon Akwa as interim administrator for the NDDC.
Akwa was the Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission before becoming the sole administrator of the interventionist agency.
He is to assume headship of the NDDC till completion of the forensic audit, according to the statement by Adesina.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of an interim administrator to oversee the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“He is Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, the Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, who is to assume headship till completion of the forensic audit.
“Mr Akwa is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“The development became necessary as a result of a plethora of litigation and a restraining order issued recently against the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC by a Federal High Court in Abuja”.
The NDDC had been embroiled in allegations of financial misappropriations long before Prof Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei assumed office, even as allegations of financial impropriety continued to dog the agency.
In one of the investigations into the financial misappropriations, Pondei fainted while being interrogated.
The final outcome of the forensic audit of the NDDC under Pondei is still being awaited.