Senate confirms Niger Delta Development Commission Board

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian senate has confirmed the constitution of the 13 member Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) but rejected the nomination of three members of the board as appointed by President Buhari.

Senate’s rejection of the trio of Olatokunbo Ajasin, Donatus Eyinnah, and Igo Weli as members of the board of NDDC was on the grounds that they are not specifically from oil producing communities as stipulated by the NDDC Act.

Their nominations by the President, the Senate noted, was in breach of the NDDC Act. The confirmation followed the recommendations contained in the report of the senate committee on Niger Delta headed by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, which the senate approved after clause by clause consideration.

Those confirmed include the nomination of Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the nomination of Nsima Udo Ekere as Managing Director.

Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe had, during the debate on the report of the Senate Committee on NDDC, pointed out that Section 2(1) (b) of the NDDC Act stipulated that nominees for the board of the Commission must be from communities where oil is produced.

Another nominee, Senator Osita Izunaso (Imo) had earlier written the Senate Committee to voluntarily reject his nomination on similar ground of not being an indigene of an oil producing community. 

Argument by the Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye that the Act did not make it mandatory for nominees to come from oil bearing communities but from oil producing states was shot down by majority of the senators.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi informed the Senate that in the case of Ajasin, people from the Ilaje area of Ondo state, stormed the screening venue in eleven fully loaded commuter buses protesting his nomination.

Two other nominees, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse and Abdul-Kazeem Bayero from the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Environment were also confirmed. However, the two would cease to be members of the NDDC board whenever they are transferred from their present ministries to other MDAs.

Other nominees confirmed are: Adjogbe Ajenakevwe Samuel, Mene Ienyie Derek, Frank Samuel George, Brambaifa Nelson and Sylvester Effefiom Nsa.

The rest are Ogaga Ifowodo, Uwuilekhue Saturday, Harry Iboroma Dabibi, Benard Banfa, Yahaya Mohammed and Mustapha Dankadai.