The Niger Delta Development Commission has shut down its operations following the death of its Acting Director of Finance and Administration, Ibanga Bassey Etang, on Thursday morning.

Etang is said to have passed away at the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after falling ill.

Sources said his body was moved to a holding area within the hospital’s premises where his blood sample is expected to be taken for COVID-19 test.

Reacting to the incident on Thursday, management of the NDDC in a memo to staff directed all persons to stay away from work and self-isolate for a period of 14 days. 

The document signed by Silas Anyanwu on behalf of the NDDC management reads, “I am directed to inform all staff that the management has approved that the commission be shut down for two weeks from today May 28, 2020.

“Consequently, all activities in the commission including ongoing matters are hereby shut down for the time being. 

“The head of security is by this memo directed to work out modalities to ensure the safety and security of the commission, while 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.”

Etang’s death came in the midst of the Forensic Audit of the NDDC ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari and the probe of the agency’s finances by the National Assembly.

The NDDC had in recent times been enmeshed in corruption scandal with individuals and groups accusing the Interim Management Committee of embezzling funds meant for developmental projects through various means. 

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