Senate probes alleged illegal renewal of tenure of NDDC board members

The Niger Delta Development Commission [Photo Credit: Nsima ekere]

The Senate has launched investigation into illegal renewal of tenure of board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

In a motion sponsored by Emmanuel Paulker, Bayelsa-PDP, the Senate mandated its committee on Niger Delta to liaise with the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, to look into the matter.

Board members of NDDC are drawn from Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers states.

Presenting the bill, Mr. Paulker noted that section 4 of the act establishing the commission states that the office of the chairman be rotated among member states in alphabetical order.

He said the chairmanship started with Abia and has rotated in accordance up to Cross River State.

According to the arrangement, the chairmanship of the committee is supposed to move to Delta State by the end of 2017, he said.

Mr. Paulker added that the board currently headed by Victor Ndoma Egba, Cross-River-PDP was illegally extended by four years by the immediate past Acting Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Habiba Lawal.

Noting that such extension is contrary to Section 5 (3) of the NDDC Act, he said the act “portends grave danger to the relative peace we enjoy in the Niger Delta.”

Speaking on the motion, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, pleaded with other lawmakers to allow the new SGF handle the issue.

In his contribution, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said that the SGF had “already taken up” the issue.

“Yesterday after the budget presentation, apart from the SGF coming to thank us, he also took this matter up and I think in the spirit of relation, that we are not here just to antagonise the executive. The days of balderdash are over. We have a new SGF and we must also show that,” he said.

The Senate adopted the motion while mandating its committee on Niger Delta to liaise with the new SGF, Boss Mustapha, to investigate the alleged illegal renewal of the tenure of the present board of the commission.

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