Following the successful confirmation by the Senate of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees to the Board of NDDC, and Senate President’s call that the Board should assume duties immediately, prominent Niger Delta Group, Ijaw Nation Diaspora Coalition (INDC) has lent its voice to patriotic calls urging the Presidency to inaugurate the Board which is representative, broad-based, and backed by law.
According to the President of the Coalition, Elder Johnson Ebibai, “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, unlike the current interim management contraption that was unilaterally set up.
Elder Ebibai who is also a legal practitioner noted with dismay that different interim managements have 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 3-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 knee-jerk approach of the interim team which desperately seeks an underserved legitimacy.
Elder Ebibai, therefore, thanked the Senate and its leadership for rising to the occasion by doing what is right in confirming the 15-man NDDC Board as forwarded to them by President Buhari, and has urged the Presidency to ensure that the new Board and Management assume office immediately.