Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
|Formed||September 10, 2008|
The new ministry would have a Minister in charge of development of Niger Delta area, and a Minister of State in charge of youth empowerment. The existing Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was to become a parastatal under the ministry. Yar'Adua said that the Ministry would coordinate efforts to tackle the challenges of infrastructural development, environment protection and youth empowerment in the Niger Delta.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) treated the announcement with caution, saying the new Ministry could be yet another avenue for corruption and political favoritism. Although the Delta region is the main source of government income, it is poor and poorly governed, suffering from violence and corruption. Activists have called for real government in the region, infrastructural development and jobs. Human rights activists are concerned that the new bureaucracy will stall progress in addressing these issues.
In December 2008, Yar'Adua appointed Ufot Ekaette as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Godsday Orubebe as Minister of State. The Permanent Secretary was Dr. Yahaya A. Abdullahi. In July 2009 Yar'Adua appointed Larry Koinyan of Bayelsa State, a retired Air Vice Marshal, as the new chairman of the NDDC. In August 2009, the Ministry held a job fair in Abuja attended by over 30 companies. The ministry claimed that over 11,000 jobs and training offers were secured during the fair. In November 2009, President Yar'Adua proposed to allocate N64bn to the Niger Delta ministry for its 2010 budget. Defending the proposed budget in December 2009 before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, chaired by Senator James Manager, Obong Uffot Ekaette explained that the ministry had difficulties achieving targets in 2009 because the N19.5bn allocated for its projects was unevenly spread. Ex-militants have protested the award of contracts to companies from outside the region, indicating that these projects may be disrupted by aggrieved local people.
Peter Godsday Orubebe was appointed Minister of Niger Delta on 6 April 2010, when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet. A March 2012 report in the Vanguard indicated that relatively little had been accomplished in the first four years. Projects to improve roads, build skills acquisition centers and improve water and electricity supplies were far behind schedule. Large amounts had been budgeted and spent for projects related to waterfront development including dredging and port development but nothing tangible had been done. There was also a large gap between federal promises and amounts released. A spokesman for the ministry said the priority would be on completing existing projects rather than starting new ones. The ministry denied allegations of project duplication.
- Juliana Taiwo (11 September 2008). "Yar'Adua Creates Ministry of Niger Delta". This Day. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "Why We Created Niger Delta Ministry, By Yar'Adua". This Day. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- Andrew Walker (11 September 2008). "Doubts over Niger Delta ministry". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- Nosike Ogbuenyi, Abimbola Akosile and Sufuyan Ojeifo (19 December 2008). "Yar'Adua Renews His Mission". ThisDay. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- Anza Philips, Abuja Bureau (24 December 2008). "The Coming of New Helmsmen". Newswatch. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "Permanent Secretaries". Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Archived from the original on 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- Chesa Chesa (4 July 2009). "Larry Koinyan Appointed NDDC Chairman". Daily Independent.
- Dele Anofi (3/08/2009). "Niger Delta Ministry holds maiden job fair". The Nation. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2009-12-26. Check date values in:
- "Budget 2010 Report: Niger Delta ministry gets N64bn". Business Day. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- John Alechenu (18 Dec 2009). "Why 2009 Niger-Delta ministry budget failed –Ekaette". The Punch. Retrieved 2009-12-26.[permanent dead link]
- Mike Odiegwu (23 Dec 2009). "N'Delta Ministry's contract row deepens". The Punch. Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
- "High stakes await Deizani as new petroleum minister". Business Day. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- MITAIRE IKPEN (March 18, 2012). "NIGER DELTA MINISTRY : The quest to fulfill a distant mandate". Vanguard. Retrieved 2012-06-16.