Interim committee now void with new NDDC board, says Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the current management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is void with the confirmation of the appointment of members of the agency’s board.

An interim committee set up by Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, currently manages the commission. The minister said the committee will run the NDDC for six months and oversee the forensic audit of the agency.

”With the completion of this process now (confirmation), I am sure that any other structure that exists now (in NDDC) is vitiated,” Lawan said while commenting on the confirmation of the nominees.

”I don’t think we have anything to worry about because this is one thing that is clearly established by law.”

On Tuesday, the senate confirmed the appointment of 15 nominees to the board of the NDDC.

In August, governors of Niger Delta states rejected the NDDC board nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The senate confirmed them after Peter Nwoboshi, chairman of the NDDC committee, presented a report to the chamber.

While presenting his report on the floor of the upper legislative chamber, Nwoboshi said all the nominees are ”eminently qualified” to be on the board.

“All the nominees were screened and the outcome contained in the report,” the lawmaker said.

“The committee finds that the qualifications of the nominees will impact the commission positively.”

But he said Joy Yimebe Nunieh, a nominee from Rivers state and interim managing director, did not show up for the screening exercise.

Commenting on the development, Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, said that since Nunieh did not appear for screening, her appointment should not be confirmed.

Also speaking, Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy president of the senate, said an interim committee should have not been set up in the first place.

Thereafter, the nominations were confirmed by a voice vote.

The nominees are Pius Odubu, chairman NDDC board; Bernard Okumagba, managing director; Otobong Ndem, executive director, projects; Maxwell Okoh, executive director, finance and administration; Jones Erue (Delta), Victor Ekhatar (Edo), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa),Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom) and Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River).

Other nominees are Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Muhammed (north-west representative), Ardo Zubairu (north-east representative) and Badmus Mutalib (north-central representative).

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