House asks President Buhari to constitute NDDC Board

22. President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the cordial relationship existing between the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the National Assembly.

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This resolution by the lawmakers is coming in the wake of the ultimatum issued to the federal government by Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.

The ex-militant had, on June 4, during a meeting with Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, gave the federal government till the end of this month to constitute the Board.

Mr Ekpemukpolo also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government on the matter.

The ultimatum was extended following the intervention of Mr Akpabio.

On Tuesday, the lawmakers asked the federal government to adhere to the NDDC Act by constituting the Board.

This resolution was one of the four resolutions reached by the lower chamber, following a motion brought by Victor Akinjo, (PDP, Ondo) during plenary.

The interim board under Kemebradikumo Pondei was sacked by the president in December 2020. Effiong Akwa was appointed to replace Mr Pondei as interim administrator of the Commission.

Mr Pondei was allegedly involved in the N85 billion probe by the House Committee on NDDC, where he fainted while under interrogation.

But the board has not been constituted since January 2020 when the previous board was disbanded to allow forensic investigation.

Mr Akinjo, while moving the motion, alleged marginalisation in the composition of the commission.

He noted that Ondo, Edo and Imo States have been marginalised in the composition of the board.

The lawmaker urged the government to comply with sections 4 and 12 (1) of the NDDC Act, by appointing Chairman of the commission from Delta State, Managing Director from Ondo State and Executive Director, Finance and Administration from Edo State.

After debate, the House resolved as follows:

-To urge the federal government to adhere to the provisions of section 4 of the NDDC Act, 2000 by considering Delta State which is next in alphabetical order for the position of the chairmanship of the board.

-To urge the federal government to adhere to the provision of section 12(1) of the NDDC Act by considering Ondo, Edo and Imo States for the positions of Managing Director, Executive Director Finance and Administration, and Executive Director Projects of the Board respectively.

The committee on NDDC was mandated by the House to ensure compliance.

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