Reps urge FG to adhere to NDDC Act

By Abiemwense Moru
Abuja –  The House of Representatives has urged the Executive Arm of government to adhere to provisions of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act in respect of tenure of the current board.

This was sequel to the motion moved by Rep. Daniel Ofongo (Bayelsa-PDP) at the plenary on Wednesday.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun.

Moving the motion, Ofongo recalled that the tenure of the board was cut short in 2015 following the dissolution of NDDC board.

He explained that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, had issued letters to the current members of the board to serve for the unexpired tenure of the board that had been dissolved.

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Ofongo also referred to a recent statement by the Permanent Secretary in the office of the SGF regarding the letters of appointments issued to the board members by the former acting SGF, Dr Habiba Lawal.

He said that the letter purportedly granted the board members fresh tenure of four years, instead of them serving out the unexpired tenure of the dissolved board.

Ofongo said: “The pronouncement was in clear violation of Section 5 (2) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act, 2000.

“This provides that where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, it shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to hold office for the remainder of the term of office of his predecessor.

“So, the successor shall represent the same interest and shall be appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, in consultation with the House of Representatives.’’

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According to him, there is a nexus between the violation of the NDDC Act and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

“This has grave consequences of impacting adversely on oil production and consequently, the nation’s revenues from the resource.

“Cognizant of the provision of Section 88 (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which empowers the National Assembly by Resolution, to cause an investigation into the execution or administration of laws enacted by the National Assembly,” he said.

The House also mandated its committee on NDDC to investigate the matter to ensure compliance with the commission Act, 2000 and report back within two weeks. (NAN)

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