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NDDC working on new master plan for Niger-Delta Region – Akpabio

Akpabio said he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development of the Niger Delta.

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NDDC Probe

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, announced that he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development through the Niger Delta Action Plan.

Akpabio announced this at the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Permanent Headquarters, Port Harcourt on Monday, as part of his working visit to the Niger Delta which is meant to collaborate and develop growth policies for the region.

READ: De facto Government: CBN explains why it will keep funding the economy

This comes after the recent National House of Assembly probe against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC. The commission claimed that it spent N81.5 billion within 7 months (October 2019 to May 2020).

The senate petitioned the IMC of the NDDC to refund the N4.923 billion alleged illegal payments made to the staff of the commission and contractors in breach of the procurement process.

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The refund which the senate wants refunded includes Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom N85.7million, Scholarship grants N105.5 million, Union Members’ trip to Italy N164.2 million.

READ: Akpabio denies accusing Reps of receiving 60% of NDDC contracts

The other refunds which the senate wants made to the NDDC’s Account by the IMC are: payment made for Lassa Fever Kit N1.96 billion, payment for Public Communication valued at N1.12 billion, and COVID-19 fund expenditure N1.49 billion.

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In August, The  Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)  interrogated the top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over allegations of numerous acts of corruption, including diversion of funds, procurement fraud, and misappropriation of the agency’s COVID-19 funds.

READ: FEC approves $1.96 billion for Kano-Niger Republic railway

Akpabio, acknowledged today that the NDDC has not lived up to expectations, he said “Whether we like it or not, this child (NDDC) has not grown well in 19 years. It could have done better. Perhaps, we lost track of the developmental plan of the Niger Delta region. The most thrilling thing for me is that change has come to the NDDC. I must commend the management and staff of the NDDC for making this possible. Despite the criticisms and distractions, some positive change has taken place in the Commission and I like to see progress because I am a development-oriented politician.”

READ: Buhari restructures NDDC after Joy Nunieh’s sack

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo said the Commission is refocusing its efforts towards effective service delivery, urging for more actions towards a master plan for regional development in the Niger Delta.

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Economy & Politics

Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu

Professor Kingsley Moghalu has thrown support behind Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to win the World Trade Organization top job.

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Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role- Prof. Moghalu

A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has publicly canvassed support for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to win the World Trade Organization (WTO) top job.

The former professor of public policy at Fletcher School, Tufts University, made the disclosure via his official Twitter handle, as seen by Nairametrics

Prof. Moghalu made a strong case for why Africa’s candidate should be considered for the top shot, noting that the need for Africa to get a better deal in the world trading system should be a major criterion in selecting the next WTO DG. He also believed that correcting this negatively skewed trade deal will help tackle poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.

What you should know

Nairametrics had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee have emerged as the last two candidates for the top WTO job.

Prof. Moghalu also disclosed that the final selection decision is expected this week or very early next week.

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(READ MORE:WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala gets the backing of 79 countries so far)

Prof. Moghalu said, “The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn, I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-General of @wto.

“The final selection decision is expected this week or very early next. Alongside the case for why the African candidate Okonjo-Iweala is best placed to lead WTO, I make the case for the continent more broadly as to how and why it must get a better deal in the world trading system.”

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What this means

If finally selected for the top job, the opportunity will present Dr. Okonjo the platform to solve some global trade-related issues, one of which is Africa’s trade position with the rest of the world.

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Economy & Politics

Buhari in crucial meeting with Obasanjo, other former heads of state

President Buhari is presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.

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Buhari in crucial meeting with Obasanjo, other former heads of state

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.

READ: Obasanjo opens garment factory, competes with Nike Art Gallery, Sam & Sara 

Although the agenda of the meeting is not made public, issues bothering on the current security situation in the country are believed to top the agenda. This follows the outbreak of violence across the country during the protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, which has led to the loss of lives and destruction of public assets and private properties.

READ: Update: Buhari seeks power to freeze accounts, clamp down on money launderers

According to media reports, the meeting which is coordinated from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has in virtual attendance General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), former President Goodluck Jonathan and former head of interim national government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

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READ: #EndSARS: Feminist Coalition raise Cryptos worth $126,000

Others who are physically present at the council chambers are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo;  National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai, among others are attending with the President.

READ: #EndSARS: Buhari holds National Security Council meeting with Osinbajo, IGP, others

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This meeting is coming a day after President Buhari’s national broadcast on the security situation in the country calling for an end to the #EndSARS protests as their voices have been loudly heard.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

Details later…

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Economy & Politics

Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC

Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.

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Nigeria's election delay

The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.

According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.

Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.

 

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Details shortly…

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