By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate, informing it that recomposition of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, would be done immediately after the Interim Management Committee had completed its audit oversight of the interventionist agency.
The letter from President Buhari was read on the floor of the Senate, Tuesday, at resumption by President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
According to the President, he would after the Audit work, present to the Senate the list for the board.
Recall that the Senate had last year, confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for the board of NDDC.
The former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, was confirmed by the Senate as Chairman of the NDDC Board, just as a nominee from Delta State, Chief Bernard Okumagba, was also confirmed as the NDDC Managing Director.
The confirmation followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs by its Chairman, Peter Nwaoboshi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North
Also confirmed were Otobong Ndem who is now the Executive Director, Projects and Maxwell Oko as Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
The Senate had also confirmed Prophet Jones Erue (Delta), Chief Victor Ekhator (Edo), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano), Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and Amb. Abdullahi Bage (Nasarawa).
Only a nominee from Rivers State, Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh was not confirmed by the Senate as she did not appear for screening.
Also recall that the Senate had on Tuesday, 26th November said that those it screened and subsequently confirmed as Chairman and board members of the NDDC are the only rightful people that will come and defend the budget of the Commission before its Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.
The Senate had last year urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, swear in the Dr. Pius Odubu led NDDC Board.
Recall that the interim Committee was set up by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and he currently manages the commission.
Also recall that Akpabio had said that the three-man committee will oversee the management of the commission to create an “enabling environment” for the audit.
He said Buhari approved the appointment of Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh as the Acting Managing Director; Cairo Ojougboh, as acting executive director, projects; and Ibanga Bassey, as acting executive director, finance and administration.
Akpabio had asked the interim committee to discharge their duties ”without fear or favour”.
He said the outcome of the committee’s work will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people of the Niger Delta region.