NASS confirms Ndoma-Egba, Ekere as NDDC chairman, MD

Senate yesterday at plenary rejected four out of the 19-man board of Niger Delta De­velopment Commission (NDDC) nominees forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation.

The prospective commissioners whose nominations were rejected by the upper chamber were Hon Donatus Enyinnah( Abia), Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin (Ondo), Mr Igo Weli (Delta) and Sen Osita Izunaso (Imo).

However, the Senate confirmed Senator Victor
Ndoma-Egba as Chair­man of the Niger Delta Development Commis­sion (NDDC) and Nsima Udo Ekere as Managing Director of the commission and 13 others.

The upper legislative body however, rejected the nominations of Olatokunbo Ajasin (Ondo), Donatus Eyinnah (Abia) and Igo Weli (Niger Del­ta) on the grounds that oil is not found in their immediate communities, as stipulated by the NDDC Act.

Acting on the report of the Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, on the criteria for approving or disapproving the appointment of the nominees, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) pointed out that Section 2(1) (b) of the NDDC Act stipulated that nominees for the board of the commission must come from communities where oil is produced.

Stressing that since the nominees from Abia did not meet that portion of NDDC Act, it was wrong for him to occupy that position and this assertion led to the rejection of the Abia nominee from the commission’s board.

Another nominee, Senator Osita Izunaso (Imo) had written the Senate Committee to voluntarily reject his nomination on similar ground.
Argument by Senator Sola Adeyeye (APC Osun Central) that the Act did not make it mandatory for nominees to come from oil bearing communities but from oil producing states, was shot down by majority of members.

However, the Chairman of the Screening Committee informed the Senate that in the case of Ajasin, people from the Ilaje area of Ondo state, stormed the screeing venue in eleven fully loaded commuter buses protesting her nomination.

Two other nominees, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse and Abdul-Kazeem Bayero from the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Environment were also confirmed.
But the two would cease to be members of the NDDC board whenever they are transferred from their present ministries to other MDAs.

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