By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt and Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
The headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt was closed on Thursday after the death of the agency's interim executive director of finance and administration, Ibanga Etang.
He was a member of the NDDC Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Etang died at about 2 am Thursday morning at Rivers State University Hospital (RSUTH), Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, after a brief illness.
The Niger Delta Ministry's Press and Public Relations Director, Deworitshe Patricia, said in a statement: “The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, directed the immediate temporary closure of the Delta Development corporate headquarters. from Niger. Commission (NDDC), Port Harcourt, as a result of a suspected outbreak of COVID-19.
“He also advised all employees who currently have symptoms not to panic, but to report to the nearest center to the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC) in Port Harcourt for evaluation and possible treatment.
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"Other actions must be reported as directed by the NCDC."
Etang, former president of Esit Eket's local government, resigned as special assistant to Governor Emmanuel Udom on projects on April 9, 2018.
Soon after, he registered with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his Etebi 7 wing.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him on February 19 as part of a five-member BMI led by Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei.
The NDDC, in an internal memo signed by Silas Anyanwu, said the company's headquarters in Aba Road would be closed for two weeks.
It says: “I am instructed to inform all employees that management has approved that the commission be closed for two weeks from May 28.
“Consequently, all activities of the commission, including all matters in progress, are closed for the time being.
“Employees must ensure that all electrical appliances in their offices are turned off before leaving the premises.
“Head Security is directed by this memo to devise modalities to guarantee the security of the commission.
“The Administrative Director is requested to fumigate and decontaminate all headquarters offices and facilities during the period.
"In the meantime, employees are forced to isolate themselves for two weeks, pending further guidance from management."