Coalition asks Buhari to scrap NDDC interim committee
Niger Delta Accountability and Development Coalition on Tuesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to scrap the interim committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The coalition in a statement by its national coordinator Johnson Epia said “the NDDC Act does not recognize any form of Interim Management Committee or indeed any other form of Management” in the commission.
“Senate erred ab initio by succumbing to pressure to allow the illegal IMC to submit the NDDC Budget Proposal to it, which it also approved, contrary its earlier constitutionally-justified decision not to recognise and/or relate with such Interim Management Committee, having screened and confirmed nominees for the Governing Board of the NDDC as prescribed by the NDDC Act, 2000, as amended.”
The NDDC Act, Epia said, provides for the president to nominate a chairman, managing director, two executive directors and one person who shall be an indigene of an oil-producing area to represent each of the following member States – Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers states, and three persons to represent each of the non-oil mineral producing geo-political zones.
Epia said other members of the commission according to the act should be representatives of oil-producing companies in the Niger- Delta nominated by the Oil producing companies, one person to represent the Federal Ministry of Finance, and one person to represent Federal Ministry of Environment.
“By the provisions of the NDDC Act, they shall be appointed for a fixed term of four years in the first instance subject to the confirmation of the Senate,” Epia said.
“This is the constitutional provision duly followed by President Buhari who officially nominated members for the Governing Board and Management Committee vied a letter to the Senate dated 18th October 2019 and personally signed by him which was read on the floor of the Senate by the President of the Senate.
“Why did the Senate go contrary to its firm and lawful decision not to recognise or relate with any Interim Management Committee (IMC) and not to appropriate any fund to NDDC under it?
“How does the confirmed Governing Board become an obstacle to the well appreciated and welcomed decision of President Buhari to engage reputable External Auditors to carry out holistic forensic auditing of the Commission.”
Epia said President Muhammadu Buhari was ill-advised to constitute an Interim Management Committee while keeping the confirmed Governing Board on hold for “such illegal IMC is desirable to supervise the forensic auditing before the inauguration of the Governing Board, is not only faulty but appears a carefully planned agenda to ridicule President Buhari and the National Assembly.”
“There is no proper audit anywhere in the world by reputable auditors that needs the supervision of the management, let alone an illegal management committee, else it loses its independence and credibility.
“No serious audit requires the management of the place to supervise it, except, of course, it is an audit with predetermined boundaries. The IMC is therefore no more than an interloper in the affairs of the NDDC, which is why Civil Society Organisations have been consistent in demanding that the NDDC be run by the Governing Board.
The coalition coordinator asked Buhari to respect the provisions of the NDDC Act and inaugurate its Governing Board without further delay.
“To remedy this situation, we call on President Buhari to scrap the IMC and re-establish the NDDC Act by inaugurating the Governing Board in line with the Law,” Ebia said.
“We call on President Buhari to scrap the IMC and comply with the NDDC Act by inaugurating the Governing Board for the NDDC.”