Following the successful confirmation by the Senate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees to the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and call by Senate President Ahmed Lawan that the Board should assume duties immediately, the Ijaw Nation Diaspora Coalition (INDC) called on the Presidency to inaugurate the board which it described as representative, broad-based and backed by law.
President of the group, Elder Johnson Ebibai, said: “It is presently illegal to have an interim management committee with an indeterminate tenure when the Act setting up NDDC clearly states that the Commission will be run by a Senate-approved Board, which is now in place.”
The INDC president further noted that a properly constituted board and management for NDDC would mean that the Federal Government and the commission have official backing through Senate confirmation and thereby accountable to the people and the region.
Elder Ebibai, who is also a legal practitioner, noted that different interim management has been in place in NDDC since February 2019, pointing out that at no point in Act No.6 of 2000 setting up NDDC is provision made for interim management, and that further elongating interim management existence should, therefore, be avoided immediately by inaugurating the Senate-approved board.
On the claims of accomplishments by the interim management committee, the INDC president faulted them restating that what is at issue is the illegality of the three-member management that is not representative of the people of Niger Delta, noting that a Senate-approved board, which will be process-driven in its activities will deliver more enduring results than the current approach of the interim team which desperately seeks undeserved legitimacy.