…orders all mgt staff to go on 14-day self-isolation
Onyedi Gabriel, Port Harcourt
Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission has said that the late NDDC acting Director, Finance and Administration of the commission, Ibanga Bassey Etang, tested positive for Coronavirus.
NDDC in a statement by its Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said the commission was compelled to make the declaration after getting clearance from the deceased executive director’s family.
“The family has authorised the Commission to announce that the late executive director tested positive to COVID-19,” Odili said.
He said the Rivers State Ministry of Health wrote to the commission to also confirm that the late director died of complications arising from COVID-19.
He said, “The ministry has, therefore, directed the Commission to order all management staff to go into self-isolation for a period of 14 days with effect from today, while seeking the cooperation of the organisation in tracing staff and contractors who have had close contact with the deceased.
“During the meeting with the family, they expressed fervent desire, that the death of the Executive Director should not be politicised, wishing to be left alone to mourn with dignity. This also is the position of the Commission.
“We pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of our Executive Director Finance and Administration, Elder lbanga Bassey Etang.”
NDDC recently shut down its corporate headquarters following a COVID-19 scare triggered by the death of Etang, who was a member of the Interim Management Committee.
Etang reportedly died at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, after a brief illness.
Etang, who was a former Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government, resigned his appointment as Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Udom on Projects on April 9, 2018 and formally registered with the All Progressives Congress at his Etebi Ward 7.
He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 19 as part of a five-member IMC led by Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei.
Shortly after his death, the commission’s management in an internal memo by Silas Anyanwu, shut down the corporate headquarters of NDDC located along Aba Road in Port Harcourt for two weeks.
The memo said all activities of the commission, including ongoing matters, were also suspended for two weeks.
Members of staff were asked to ensure that all electrical appliances in their offices were switched off before leaving the premises.
The Head of Security was asked to work out modalities to secure the commission while the Director, Administration, was requested to fumigate and decontaminate the entire offices and premises during the period.
The management also asked all employees to go into self-isolation for two weeks and wait for further directive from the management.
The memo read, “I am directed to inform all staff that management has approved that the commission be shut down for two weeks from May 28. Consequently, all activities in the commission, including all going matters are hereby shut down for the time being.
“Members of staff are to ensure that all electrical appliances in their offices are switched off before leaving the premises.
“The Head Security is by this memo directed to work out modalities to ensure the safety and security of the commission while the Director Administration is requested to fumigate and decontaminate the entire offices and premises in the headquarters during the period.
“Meanwhile staff are enjoined to go into self-isolation for two weeks as they await further directive from the management.”