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Sack NDDC Interim Management With Immediate Effect; Reps Tell Akpabio

The House of Representatives has urged the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to withdraw the appointment and halt activities of the three-man Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The resolution also urged both the House and the Senate to discontinue the 2020 Appropriation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs until the Minister complies with the first resolution.

To this end, the House further mandated its Committees on NDDC and Legislative Compliance to implement the resolutions.

These resolutions were the outcome of a motion on matters of urgent public importance on the need to stop the illegality in the Niger Delta Development Commission moved by Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).

Ossai, while presenting the motion noted that one of the core reasons for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is the implementation of the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the Niger-Delta areas.

Ossai argued that the Act establishing the Commission provides in section 8 that, its management and administrative instructive shall be the responsibility of the Governing Board.

According to him, “the Governing Board of the Commission includes the Chairman, the Managing Director, the Executive Directors and the other members with power to manage and supervise the affairs of the Commission and make rules and regulations for effective functioning of the Commission”.

“In the Month of October. 2019, Mr. President ordered for a forensic audit of the operations and activities of NDDC from 2001 to 2019, Which is in line with what the House of Representatives has done.

“In the later part of October 2019, precisely on the 29th, Mr. President through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation announced the appointment of 15 new NDDC Board Members, whose names were thereafter sent to the Senate for confirmation.

“In the evening of same 29th October, 2019 and to the utter consternation of all Nigerians, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, brazenly announced in channels Television the sacking of the Acting Managing Director of NDDC and the appointments of a three-man NDDC Interim Management Committee, which he directed to manage and run the affairs of NDDC for the next six months.

“Shortly after the appointment of the three-man Interim Management Committee, the Senate confirmed the 15 NDDC Board Members sent to it by Mr. President in fulfillment of NDDC Act.

“The speed and curiosity with which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs hurriedly set up a three-man Interim Management Committee is stunning and suspicious.

“Any existing vacancy in the office of the Managing Director of NDDC is usually filled temporary by the highest director in the order of seniority and ranking.

“Suffice to say that by the confirmation of the NDDC Governing Board Members by the Senate, the three-man Interim Management Committee of the NDDC recently set up by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs becomes vitiated, null and void and of no legal effect”, Ossai stated.

The motion was unanimously adopted when put to voice vote by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila in whose ruling referred the motion the House Committee on NDDC