The newly deployed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Dr. Babayo Ardo has reiterated that one of his priority for the Ministry would be in addressing the negative label which has been attributed to the MNDA and the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).

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According to a statement made available to Transport Day, the Permanent Secretary made the assertion during the handover ceremony from the old Permanent Secretary recently in Abuja.

Dr. Babayo Ardo who expressed appreciation for the hospitality extended to him by the outgoing Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade and other officials of the Ministry noted that since his appointment and subsequent posting he has been inundated with all kinds of negative remarks about the Ministry, which to him should elicit serious concerns that require urgent attention.

According to him, “I have already started the process of restoring the positive image of the Ministry by engaging the two major principals so that the major issues can be identified and we can put our heads together to see how to address the challenges, collaborate and work together to tackle the root cause,” he said.

Dr. Ardo while pledging to operate an ‘Open Door Policy’ solicited the cooperation of the Management Team to work together with him to address the obvious challenges of the Ministry so as to achieve its mandate and President Muhammadu Buhari ‘Next Level’ agenda in the Niger Delta region.

Earlier, the outgoing Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adesola Olusade who has been redeployed to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), noted that the Bible made it clear that there is time for everything under the sun.

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He said, “it is immaterial where you are posted in the cause of our service to the nation, but the most important thing is your commitment to service and what you will be remembered for.”

Olusade who gave a robust account of his stewardship in the ministry, said a lot have been achieved in the aspects of Budgeting, Allocation of funds to priority projects, Budget balancing between Hardware and Software needs in the various departments, harmonization of priority projects, approval and appointment of forensic auditors for the NDDC, completion of projects that are ready for commissioning.

The out-going PS identified some major challenges of the MNDA as the Procurement process, Dwindling Allocation of funds, Accumulated Litigations, issues of welfare and promotion of staff. He enjoined the Management to work towards changing the narrative of the Ministry through positive activities.