Over one month after the Senate confirmed nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari as board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the president has jettisoned the nominees.
Instead, Mr Buhari has approved that a new board be composed for the embattled interventionist agency.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Senate in November confirmed the 15 nominees sent by the president as NDDC board members. Mr Buhari had sent the names of the nominees led by an Edo State politician, Pius Odubu, to the Senate in October.
The president has, however, refused to inaugurate the nominees following the clearance by the Senate.
Before the nominees where cleared by the Senate, however, the minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, named an interim management committee for the NDDC.
The Senate complained about the interim committee saying there was no need for them. The lawmakers also repeatedly called on the president to do inaugurate his nominees they had cleared.
The lawmakers also vowed not to recognise the interim management committee, saying they would not be allowed to defend the agency’s budget.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Wednesday, Mr Buhari appeared to have thrown the cleared nominees under the bus. He also reiterated that the NDDC would remain under the Niger Delta ministry led by Mr Akpabio.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be recomposed and inaugurated after the forensic audit of the organization.
“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,” Mr Adesina wrote.
Mr Akpabio has since assuming office lamented the level of corruption in the NDDC, describing the place as an ‘ATM’ where officials looted government funds at will.