Reps C’ttee pledges open investigation of NDDC boss’ sack

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the sudden sack of acting Managing Director of NDDC.
        The Chairman of the committee Rep. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) made the pledge in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja. He said that in line with the mandate given to the committee by the House, the appointment of a three-man NDDC Interim Management Committee would be thoroughly probed. He said that the investigation would be all encompassing and that the committee was going to be fair to all. We are going to look at all the laws, you can be sure that at the end of the day, our recommendations will be based on the rule of law for the benefit of the people. We want to have a commission that would provide good roads, a commission that will bring succor to the lives of the people of the Niger Delta and take them to the next level,”he said.
Tunji-Ojo said that the outcome of the investigation would bring an end to the brouhaha surrounding the appointment and the sack. According to the lawmaker, the House wants to ensure that the laws are followed and that the investigation will reveal that. He said that if the government had erred, the committee would be courageous enough to report on the floor of the House. We owe the Niger Delta people a truthful investigation, we owe them uprightness, we owe them an investigation that will lead to the fulfillment of the mandate of the commission,” he said. Tunji-Ojo said that he was not impressed by the way the commission was being operated at the moment. According to him, this is November 2019 and we do not have a budget for 2019, it is an aberration; it shows lawlessness on the part of the organisation. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had presented the 2020 budget to the assembly but the NDDC was yet to present the 2019 budget. The chairman said that he was out to ensure that the commission works for Nigeria, for the oil rich region and for the society at large. In four years time, we will leave a commission that the rule of law will reign supreme in all areas of operations.When this is done, development will come, transparency will come and accountability will follow. But when procurement and finical regulation are not obeyed, you will get what you have now; it is sad, NDDC is not the only intervention commission in the country but it is always in the news for the wrong reasons,” he said.
        Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila mandated NDDC Committee to investigate the issues surrounding the sack of the acting MD. This followed a motion of Urgent Matter of Public Importance by Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) at the plenary. Ossai said that the law establishing the commission provided that its management and administration shall be the responsibility of the its Governing Board. He said that on Oct. 29, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the appointment of 15 new NDDC Board Members, whose names were thereafter sent to the Senate for confirmation. According to him, in the evening that same day, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, announced the sacking of the acting Managing Director of NDDC and the appointment of a three-man NDDC Interim Management Committee. The speed and curiosity with which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs hurriedly set up a three-man Interim Management Committee is stunning and suspicious,”he said. Meanwhile the president has called for a forensic audit of the accounts and activities of the commission from previous administration up to date to ascertain why projects which have being paid for are yet to be completed or commissioned. (NAN)

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