The Niger Delta Development Commissioner (NDDC) board will soon be recomposed, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a letter to the Senate on Tuesday.
He said the new board will resume after the forensic audit. Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the letter during plenary.
The December 23 letter reads: “I write to intimate the Senate of the development concerning the appointment of the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The Senate may wish to note that after the dissolution of the board of the NDDC, an Interim Management Committee was set up to manage the affairs of the commission before a new board was composed and sent for Senate confirmation.
“The Senate is invited to note that while the process of composition and Senate confirmation of the appointment of the board was on-going, I had directed that the forensic audit of the commission be carried out which is being overseen by the constituted interim management committee.
“Based on this and to allow for uninterrupted process of forensic investigation, the board appointment confirmed by the Senate has to be put on hold.
“This is to allow the interim team to continue to manage the Commission pending the outcome of the forensic audit. Thereafter, a new Board of the Commission will be re-composed for confirmation by the Senate.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 19 ordered board recomposition. He dissolved the Dr Pius Odubu-led board that was confirmed by the Senate.
The President validated the Interim Management Committee (IMC) led by Dr Joi Nunieh.
This was contained in a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina.
President Buhari vested the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry with powers to supervise the NDDC as had been the case.
The statement reads: “President Buhari has approved that the Board of the NDDC is recomposed and inaugurated after the forensic audit of the organisation.
“The President has also directed that the Interim Management Team of the NDDC shall be in place till the forensic is completed and that the supervision of the Commission shall remain under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.”
The initial board, which was screened by the Senate on October 30, was not inaugurated by the President.
The nominees were: Dr Odubu (Edo), Chief Bernard Okumagba as Managing Director (Delta), Executive Director Projects Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Executive Director Finance and Administration, Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa), Prophet Jones Erue (Delta State representative), Chief Victor Ekhatar (Edo), Dr Joy Yimebe Nunieh (Rivers) and Nwogu Nwogu (Abia).
Others were: Theodore A. Allison (Bayelsa), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano, Northwest representative), Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa, Northeast representative) and Badmus Mutalib (Lagos, Southwest representative).