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Traditional rulers, elders, women groups, youth groups, and a peace advocacy group in the South-South region known as the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the appointment of Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua as the Acting Managing Director in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

In the other hand, The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sacking the Interim Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Efiong Akwa.

According to the traditional rulers, elders, women groups, youth groups, and the MSDND, the appointment of Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua from Delta state is a clear show of commitment to the setting up of a substantive board for the commission with a list of nominees to be submitted to the National Assembly soon.

The traditional rulers, elders, women groups, and youth groups, under the auspices of the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), in a statement issued via electronic mail and signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin, said the people of the region are more convinced that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is sincere in his approach at handing the region a more proactive substantive NDDC board with the appointment of Engr. Dr. Audu-Ohwavborua which clearly stated that he will take over and perform the duties of the managing director in an acting capacity.

“We welcome the appointment of Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, and we commend President Buhari for the timely show of commitment to the prayers of the people of the Niger Delta region. The Acting MD is a round-peg in a round-hole, and he is expected to prepare the template for the tidy and effective transition for the substantive board of the commission.”

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“Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua (FNSE, PMP) is a public administrator, a certified Project Manager (PMP), an entrepreneur with interest in agriculture, and a Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (FNSE). He is currently a serving Senior Director at the Delta State office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a public sector organization established by law in 2000 to address the developmental deficits of the impoverished oil-bearing Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.”

“With degrees in electrical engineering and business administration, as well as professional certification in Project Management, an award in March 2019 of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with specialization in Project Management, he has had over 30 years’ experience working in diverse sectors ranging from engineering designs, industrial and production management, through power plant engineering to project management.”

“About one-third of these years, he invested in the private sector having worked in Dresser Kellogg Energy Services Limited, Granherne Limited (United Kingdom), and Bonny Allied Industries Limited (Rock Cement). He also worked at the now defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), and the National Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). A fast-growing entrepreneur, he is the Chairman of Emmppek Farms Limited, a privately owned commercial agricultural enterprise (with specialty in both animal and crop production), located in the South-South region of Nigeria.”

“He successfully completed the Master Class Certificate in Business Management & Leadership in March 2019 at the London Graduate School. In May 2015, he successfully completed a programme on “Business Model Innovations” at the Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He also successfully completed a certificate programme on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School, Boston, USA in 2012.”

“He is the author of the recently released book (August 2020), “REAL ENEMIES OF THE NIGER DELTA.” A book that captures the plight of a people and a land so blessed, yet beleaguered, impoverished, and generally taken for granted. It examines some historical, social-political, and economic challenges that the hydrocarbon-rich Niger Delta faces, and makes a prescription for not only its transformation, but also on how the NDDC can catalyze the envisaged transformative process.”

“For his meritorious service to humanity, he has been honoured with many awards, some of which are: •Chartered Management Consultant (CMC) – 2020 •Fellow Nigeria Society of Engineers (FNSE) – 2014 •Construction & Engineering Digest (CED) – Construction Industry Hall of Fame – 2019 •Fellow of the institute of Oil & Gas Research & Hydrocarbon Studies in Strategic Project Management – 2018. •Delta Heritage Award – Mentorship & Purposeful Leadership – 2018 •CED Forum Award of Excellence (Engineering Practice and Public Sector Governance and Performance Category) – 2015.”

“Others are: •Fellow Institute of Corporate Administration (FICA) – 2010 •Fellow Nigeria Institution of Highway Engineers – 2015 •African Achievers Award (AAA) on integrity in Public Service at the British House of Commons, Westminster, United Kingdom in 2017. •Black Heritage International award as One of the 50 Foremost Nigerian Engineering Icon – 2017 •African Child Foundation Award on Integrity in Public Administration – 2018 •Garden City Advancement Award for Best Practices in Public Service – 2018.

Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua is married to his lovely Nkechi and they both have five children: Jennifer, Eguono, Preston, Nneka and Oghenemaro. The family is a devout Christian, and he is a Deacon in The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dayspring Parish, Port Harcourt. He loves to read, workout, watch movies, and play’s lawn tennis.”

MEANWHILE, The IYC said it was particularly elated that the President ended the era of interim administrations of NDDC, which had crippled the commission and denied all member states equal participation in the activities of the interventionist agency as envisioned by the Act establishing it.

The President of IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, in a statement on Thursday, said Buhari’s order that the board of the NDDC should be immediately reconstituted in line with the Act was long overdue.

While acknowledging that it was better late than never, Igbifa recalled that the IYC led by him had through various actions bemoaned the draconian leadership style introduced in NDDC by the Buhari’s administration and called for a substantive board.

He said those hanging around Buhari should urgently swing into action to carry out his marching order on the reconstitution of the commission’s board.

He said: “Though we are happy that President Muhammadu Buhari has finally ended the notorious era of interim administrations in the NDDC, we believe it is long overdue. But it is better late than never.

“We recall our various protests against the managerial style that had crippled the commission and deprived member states of equal representation. But now that the President has given a marching order, we only hope that those saddled with the responsibility of implementing it will act fast to save the image of the President.

“We have noticed in the past how the President’s orders were disregarded by his aides, who were more concerned about protecting their personal interests than the national interests with total disregard to the image of their principal”.

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