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Presidency aiding illegality in NDDC, Rep declares

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Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Essien Ayi, has canvassed immediate inauguration of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Ayi, who represents Calabar-Akpabuyo-Bakassi Federal Constituency, spoke yesterday after handing over equipment for different trade and vocations to empower the last set of 130 beneficiaries in his constituency.

He blamed the presidency directly for failure to inaugurate a substantive board for the NDDC, adding: “The presidency in aiding illegality by not inaugurating the NDDC board and allowing endless operation of the commission with a caretaker committee and Sole Administrator..”

“The act setting up the NDDC provides for a board, chairman and managing director on rotational basis among the states in the region. There is no provision for caretaker committee or sole administrator and as such, running the commission without them is illegal.

“I don’t know why Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has refused to inaugurate the NDDC board that has been screened by the National Assembly.

“Nobody is against the forensic audit and it cannot conflict with the work of a substantive board and so they cannot stop the inauguration of the board because of a forensic audit.”

He said the argument that the present arrangement was aimed at sanitising the system did not hold water, because Nigerians were aware of the several financial scandals in NDDC’s present arrangement, exacerbated by the plethora of complaints and alleged fraud in the commission.

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