BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. November 23, 2022… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has welcomed the nomination of the chairman and members of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), by President Muhammadu Buhari and urged the Senate to expeditiously consider the nominees without delay.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor while welcoming the nomination, noted that the action was long overdue since the last board was dissolved in November 2019. Effort to reconstitute the board in 2020 did not also materialize. There were intrigues that trailed the Senate confirmation and anticipated inauguration of the Pius Odubu led board of NDDC in 2020 which led President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the board. A forensic Audit was commissioned shortly after for which the report is yet to be made public.
“We commend the President for taking this bold step and encourage him to take a further step to make the Forensic Audit report on NDDC public, so that those appointed can be guided by the findings.
“Expectations are high from those appointed and they should be prepared to work with Civil Society Organisations to improve the level of transparency and accountability at the Commission. The new board, when confirmed and inaugurated should ensure they begin massive reform of the NDDC, ensure the passage of the NDDC Amendment Act Bill currently before the National Assembly as well as curb wastes and mismanagement of resources of the NDDC,” Ugolor admonished.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the disengagement of the Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa, from his post with effect from 20, October 2022. President Buhari has also approved the constitution of a new Governing Board of the NDDC in line with Section (2) of the NDDC Act, 2000, led by Mrs. Lauretta Onochie
ANEEJ and its eight (8) cluster members are implementing the “Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria” project, which is a subset of the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project being implemented by Palladium with support from USAID. The project is advocating for reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to improve the livelihoods of the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.