There are strong indications that Niger Delta Affairs Ministry may have been scrapped as no minister was deployed to the ministry in the portfolios released by President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday.
Daily Trust earlier reported that Tinubu had allotted portfolios to the 45 minister-designates screened and confirmed by the Senate.
Among those portfolios are Wale Edun, Finance and Coordinating Economy; Nyesom Wike, Federal Capital Territory; Lateef Fagbemi, Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice; among others.
Meanwhile, Tinubu has not assigned any minister-designate to the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry which was created by the former President Umaru Yar’Adua in September 2008.
The ministry was formed to address the agitation of the oil-rich region including infrastructural decay, environmental degradation, and other concerns raised by the stakeholders and people.
Yar’Adua appointed Ufot Ekaette as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Godsday Orubebe as Minister of State in 2008.
Former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari also retained the ministry and appointed ministers to oversee it.
Aside from Ekaette and Orubebe, former Niger Delta Affairs ministers include Usani Uguru Usani, Godswill Akpabio and Umana Okon Umana.
Shortly after President Tinubu was sworn in, former Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, urged him to scrap the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, saying it was a duplication of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Some of the ministries and parastatals that are no longer viable like the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and some other ministries that are not viable should be scrapped.
“We have the Niger Delta Development Commission like we have the North East Development Commission. So the Ministry of Niger Delta should be scrapped,” he had said.
He, however, advised that the NDDC should be repositioned to report directly to the President as stipulated by its establishment Act.
“In the Act, there is no where they say NDDC will report to Ministry of Nigeria Delta Affairs.
“They should allow the NDDC as a commission to be able to function purely as a commission,” the senator added.