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NDDC Conundrum: More Questions than Answers! By Ayo Oyoze Baje

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Professor of Law Writes The Senate Over Usurpation Of The Powers Of NDDC Board

NDDC Conundrum: More Questions than Answers!

By Ayo Oyoze Baje

Quote:
“It is shocking that after the FEC, the highest ruling body in the country, had awarded a contract for the same project in 2021 at the sum of $11.7 billion for the construction of same Mega railway spanning through the length and breadth of the Niger Delta, that anyone would be signing an MOU on behalf of the NDDC and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the same project in 2023 without due process”
 – Ms Lauretta Onochie (Chairman of the NDDC governing board)
NDDC Conundrum: More Questions than Answers!
By Ayo Oyoze Baje
As with running the lives of individuals, there is always a difference between motive and method for that of conducting the affairs of public and private organizations. The facilitating factors that come into play; to oil the engine of growth and drive such dreams to the light of day are predicated on vision, character, commitment and of course, accountability.
 Whenever one or more of such catalysts are lacking, the process is derailed, leading of course, to preventable pains of those who are supposed to benefit from it all. And that precisely is what has played out with the noble objectives of the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
It would be recalled that the Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment etc) Act2000 Act No 6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria came as an Act to provide for the repeal of the Oil, Mineral Producing Areas Commission Decree 1998.  Among other things, it was meant to establish a new Commission with a re-organised management and administrative structure for more effectiveness.
Furthermore, it was meant for the use of the sums received from the allocation of the Federation Account for tackling ecological problems which arise from the exploration of oil minerals in the Niger-Delta area and for connected purposes. That came into effect on12th day of July 2000.
Unfortunately,  the noble aims and objectives of its coming into effect  under the then President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had over the years got de-branded with the issues of corruption, incompetence and gross mismanagement of its resources. Terribly bad, you might say!
But it even got worse when it had no Board to effectively run its affairs for six odd years! By law it was supposed to be under the presidency. The change in the narrative however, came when former governor of Akwa-Ibom state, Godswill  Akpabio became the Minister of the Niger-Delta. It was he who appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to place the NDDC under the Ministry of the Niger-Delta.
Ever since, it has been mired in one steamy scandal, controversy or the other. That was what necessitated the setting up of a forensic audit by the president to take a deeper look into the conduct of its financial transactions.
Interestingly, that opened up the can of worms with the alleged discovery of monumental corruption as 320 illegal accounts-both local and international- were traced to the Ministry by the forensic audit. That was in 2021 when the Report was submitted to Mister President.
Ordinarily, oil companies operating in Nigeria are supposed to pay 3% of their running costs to the NDDC but going by the allegations of corruption Buhari ordered that such sums should be collected by the EFCC. Other reports revealed that within that period it collected a whopping N710 billion on behalf of NDDC!
Buhari  was compelled, in his characteristic manner of transparency and probity to come up with the appointment of someone of proven integrity; someone with a proud pedigree of discipline; who attaches little value to material things. There comes in Ms Lauretta Onochie on whose behalf the president wrote to the Senate for confirmation back in November 2022.
Having worked with Mister President for seven good years, which provided him with the opportunity to study her true persona he knew that she was going to toe the path of honour and honesty. And that she did when during the first meeting of the NDDC Board it was mutually agreed that financial transactions must be approved by her person, as the Chairman for accountability and transparency.
In addition, such financial transactions were to be communicated to the CBN, the Accountant General’s Office and of course, the Minister of Finance. But the MD  of the NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku was vehemently against that significant decision.
Furthermore, he wrote a letter to counter the decision insisting that the status quo should remain. That audacious attempt to shake the NDDC table triggered some burning questions. Is it true, as alleged that the humongous sum of N50 million is always paid for trips made by the trio of the Managing Director of the NDDC, the Director of Finance as well as Projects for assignments carried out outside Port Harcourt? Is it also true that the monthly running cost has been increased from N6bn to N10bn? Yet, that was not all to it.
 Why would contractors be paid huge sums from the public purse without the knowledge of the NDDC Board but with payments approved by the head of the former interim management?  Why were the Board Members from Abia and Bayelsa states the ones to benefit from payments? And why are the NDDC Board members not given official vehicles? There was certainly more to it all than met the eye!
In fact, the last straw that broke the camel’s back in the cat-and-mouse game between the Minister of the Niger Delta and the Onochie-led Board of the NDDC came to the fore when the former went ahead to host the PPP Summit recently held at Eko Hotel in Lagos state without the approval of the latter!
Worse still, it went on to sign an MOU with an American company,  Atlanta Global Resources Inc., which according to Onochie has no requisite experience in any form of construction, not to talk about  railway construction! Onochie stated that the company in question is a management export consulting firm without known directors!
Describing the MOU as illegal she quoted that: “(a) By the act establishing the NDDC (Act No 6, of 2000), it is the Chairman of the board that is solely vested with the power to sign MOUs with any organisation. She added Part II of the NDDC Act, Section 8, sub sections (a) and (e), among other provisions,.
The Chairman of the PPP Board Gbenga Edema who hails from Ondo state is also a Commissioner with the board. Though he was supposed to report to the Board, he was allegedly ignored by the management.
Subsequently, all these shenanigans have dovetailed into the call by her traducers for Onochie’s removal from office. And that is all because she is firmly standing on her ground, insisting that she does not want the smelly Augean stable to remain in its mess!
Indeed, she reminds one of the late DG of NAFDAC, Prof. Dora Akunyili who epitomized diligence to duty, discipline and strict adherence to the dictates of the law.  Characteristic of her resolute stand, she wants things done within the ambit of the law, no matter whose ox is gored!
Unfortunately, the face-off has led to a situation whereby not much has been achieved by the NDDC in the past six months. The NDDC Executive Director Finance and Administration, is Maj-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd), while  the Executive Director, Projects is  Mr. Charles Ogunmola. The Minister of the Niger Delta is Umanna Umanna.
So, while the elephants fight it is the hapless and long-suffering Niger-Deltans that continue to stew in the quagmire of preventable pains and poverty.
The clarion call has therefore, come up by concerned Niger Deltans for President Buhari to do the needful, even in his last days in office. They are urging him to amend the Act,  If possible, issue out an executive order to correct the anomalies and check mate the financial reckless of the Ogbuku-led management. That is, by giving executive powers to the Chairman of the Commission, similar to what OMPADEC had in place before it was dissolved.
With that, the incoming government will have an enabling legal environment to facilitate a holistic development of the oil-rich Niger Delta, so that the goose that lays the golden egg is effectively taken good care of.

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The Unending Supply: A Testimony of Faith and Tithing – Pastor Enenche

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The Unending Supply: A Testimony of Faith and Tithing – Pastor Eneche

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global News Reports That In a captivating narrative, Senior Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja shared a miraculous tale involving a bag of rice. After his wife gave away a portion as tithe, the rice began to multiply in a way that defied explanation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Enenche’s wife was accustomed to tithing not only money but also food. On a notable occasion, after dedicating a tenth of their rice as tithe, they were astonished to find that the rice continued to replenish itself. This bewildering event led to his wife giving away the rest of the rice, perturbed by the unceasing abundance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Enenche himself has a long history of tithing, a practice he began during his university years. With a monthly allowance of just N30, he faithfully contributed N3 as tithe. His commitment to this spiritual discipline has persisted, independent of his eventual role as a pastor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Pastor Enenche, tithing is a deep-seated principle found in the scriptures, not a means to pastoral service. Since 1986, he has been a practitioner of tithing, convinced by the positive changes it brought into his life

, rather than by ecclesiastical debate.

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Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

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Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That A former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd), has predicted an end to the security challenges Nigeria is presently passing through saying it will soon be a thing of the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Buratai spoke at the public presentation of books written by the Director Academic, Planning and Quality Assurance, Nigerian Army University, Biu, Borno State, Brigadier General Mogbekeloluwa Oluyinka Fakokunde, which was held at Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The former army chief commended the efforts of the Nigerian military in the war against insecurity saying they have given their best within the circumstances they have found themselves. He however expressed optimism in the ability of the military to nip the security challenges in the bud very soon saying insecurity is a global occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to commend them (the military). They are doing well. They are doing their best within the circumstances they find themselves and what is happening. It (insecurity) is not only in Nigeria, it is global. What is happening is Nigeria is not an exception. Within our neighbours, we see what is happening and globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We see what is happening in Sudan, Ukraine, in the Middle East and so on. They (the military) need to remain resolute, remain focused and continue the project they are doing and surely they will succeed. For sure it (insecurity) cannot be permanent, there must be a solution and we can get out of it one day,” General Buratai told media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author, Brigadier General Fakokunde, while speaking with Tribune Online, said the books were written with the intention to solve societal problems such as stress, drug abuse and addiction as well as providing the leeway for teachers to manage stress associated with their profession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said as builders of talents, teachers need the required skills and qualifications to excel and impart knowledge on their students as leaders of tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you look at these books, they are not just ordinary books, they are also working instruments addressing the problems of the society like problem of drug addicts, problem of occupational stress and others ravaging the workforce now. These are competencies they need to imbibe so that they can manage their stress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The rate of drug abuse is a serious thing now and is prevalent among the students and the youths. With these publications, we have instruments that can be used to manage drug abuse among our youths, our workforce and every strata of the society. The intention is to solve problems of the society and that is what we have done by unveiling these books.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The books’ reviewer, Professor Mary Ogechi Esere, of the University of Ilorin, while commending the author for his efforts said the books describe Nigeria’s current realities and provide solutions for the way out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said the books could not have come at a better time describing them as tools for stress management and to tackle the menace of drug abuse especially among the youths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The author has deemed it fit to give us tools that we can use to manage the stress and tackle drug abuse which is prevalent among our students right from primary schools. The books are apt, written at the right time. It is scholarly and the writing style is unique,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The books presented are Handbook of Occupational Stress Management for Teachers, Psychological Testing and Technique in Continuous Assessment for Colleges and Universities, Drug Abuse Awareness Scale (DAAS) and Drug Abuse Awareness Scale (DAAS) Manual.

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REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

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REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

 

 

 

 

 

By Hannatu Lot Dickson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai Volume 2 is authored by General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army. The book was Published by Sprezzatura Publishing Ltd. Cover design by Mereo Books. It was published October 13, 2021 in English Language. It has 125 pages with ISBN-10: * 186151915X and ISBN-13: * 978-1861519153.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

 

 

 

 

 

The author Tukur Yusuf Buratai CFR psc(+) NAM GSS ndc (BD) was born 24 November 1960. He is a retired Nigerian army lieutenant general, former Chief of Army Staff appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983 and has had multiple command, administrative, and instructional appointments.

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai 2 is a novel base on true-life story of General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Army Staff. It is a novel of eight (8) chapters and has one hundred and twenty-five (125) pages. Each of these chapters and pages is so richly engaging and informative from start to finish.

Just a recap of the plot summary, the book is the enthralling true-life story in his own words, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, who rose to legendary status by dint of hard work, bravery, diligence, excellence and honesty. His journey through life is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path. His childhood and formative years were also captured.

 

 

 

 

 

The preliminary pages of “The Legend of Buratai 2” begins with the titled page where the titled of the book was boldly written and the author’s name. Then followed by the cover page design which contains the cover photo which was taken in Ngamdu. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai is clearly seen in the picture with troops during operations against Boko Haram terrorists at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp Ngamdu, Borno State in April 2020. He was practically leading the combat operations. Them followed by the content page which outlines the book’s structure, listing chapters, which helps readers navigate the book’s organization and content.

 

 

 

 

The Photographic Acknowledgement section credits the sources of photographs used in the book, acknowledging photographs taken from the personal album of the author. Followed by a heartfelt message dedicating the book to all young people in Nigeria, and especially those of the Nigerian Military School and the Nigerian Defence Academy.

 

 

 

 

The Publisher’s Note and acknowledgement pages expressed gratitude while the Forward was written by Major General Paul Tarfa mni (Rtd), who described General Buratai’s records of service as Chief of Staff of Nigerian Army as legendary and cannot be surpassed. ‘He is a General who inspires his subjects by leading from the front’. He further, provided context, endorsement, and insights into the book’s significance.

 

 

 

 

 

The author begins chapter one by talking about the beginning which captures the lineage, nuclear family and the journey of Yusufu Buratai especially when he joined the RWAFF. Chapter four depict the miraculous escape from the pond as a child, Dr. Gidado Kumo and John Atanda spoke in chapter three and four, while chapter five and six described the author’s encounters with Snakes and Ghost respectively. chapter seven followed with matters bordering on patriotisms and chapter eight list several principles guiding Lt. General TY Buratai, a few out of those principles are: Do not bother about what people say,; Commit to improving yourself to the extent that you do not have time to compete or criticize others; Let excellence be your trademark anywhere you find yourself; Do not be too proud to retrace your steps back to the right path; Listen more and say less; Always lead with courage or not at all; Honour your words as your bond and never make a promise you can’t keep…

The plot is set in Buratai town, Biu Local Government Area of Borno State to Potiskum, Yobe State. The genre is non-fiction.

 

 

 

The book, ‘The Legend of Buratai 2’ is the best pick for young minds in need of inspiration and mentorship. It is a captivating and fascinating masterpiece, rich in original history, military tactics, strategies and important life lessons with a touch of spirituality straight from the mind and experiences of true and pragmatic General TY Buratai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai 2 has the potentials to recoup reinvigorate patriotism to our fatherland Nigeria. It also has the capability and potentials to make a young mind dream and do everything in their powers to live their dreams just like Lt. General TY Buratai.

 

 

 

 

 

The book is so real, it’s not a conventional love story with a perfectly Happy-Ever-After. It was infused with strong themes, I love how Lt Gen. TY Buratai recollected his childhood and formative years, how he was educating us on how to be patriotic and how he described ‘the wretched rustic life of a terrorist’ infused in a poem titled, ‘ARE YOU A TERRORIST?’

The themes in “The Legend of Buratai: Volume 2” include

 

– Hard work: General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s rise to legendary status is attributed to his diligence and hard work.

 

 

 

– Bravery: General Buratai is known for his bravery and military tactics.

– Excellence: General Buratai’s journey to excellence is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path.

 

 

 

 

– Honesty: General Buratai’s honesty is one of the key characteristics that contributed to his legendary status.

 

 

 

– Patriotism: The book is capable of reawakening patriotism to one’s fatherland, according to Moses A. Uyang, author and humanitarian.

 

 

 

– Diligence: Buratai’s diligence is another factor that contributed to his success.

 

 

 

The book is practically a handbook or a catalyst for youngsters who dear to dream, who wants to love and serve their country whole heartedly, be patriotic and serve humanity in all earnest and honesty.

 

 

 

The book offers a wide range of literary appreciation and acceptance, historical sources, and educative values. It is a foundation for historical and otherwise critical evaluation.

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