President Muhammadu Buhari will recompose the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and send to the Senate for confirmation.
He made this known via a letter to the Senate – which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday.
“The Senate may wish to note that after the dissolution of the board of the NDDC, an interim management team 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 composition and Senate confirmation of the appointment of the board was ongoing, I had directed that the forensic audit of the Commission be carried out which is being overseen by the constituted interim management team.
“Based on this and in order to allow for uninterrupted process of the forensic investigation, the board appointment confirmed by the Senate had to be put on hold to allow the interim team continue to manage the commission pending the outcome of the forensic audit. Thereafter, a new board of the commission will be recomposed for the confirmation by the Senate,” the letter reads.
The Senate had in November 2019, confirmed the 15 nominees sent by the president as NDDC board members. Mr Buhari had sent the names of the nomineesled by an Edo State politician, Pius Odubu, to the Senate in October.
The president, however, refused to inaugurate the nominees, following the clearance by the Senate. During the confirmation process, the president ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the organisation from 2001 to 2019.
Also, before the nominees where cleared by the Senate, the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, named an interim management committee for the NDDC.
The lawmakers had said there was no need for the interim committee and that they would not recognise them. They are, however, compelled to screen and confirm the recomposed board nominees.
Mr Akpabio has, since assuming office, lamented the level of corruption at the NDDC, describing the place as an ‘ATM’ where officials looted government funds at will.