Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
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 organisation.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari has also directed that the Interim Management Team should be in place till the forensic is completed, and that the supervision of the Commission remain under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The Senate had on November 5 confirmed 15 of President Buhari’s nominees and rejected one, Dr Joy Nunieh, who was appointed by Niger Delta Minister, Godswill Akpabio, to head an interim management committee to oversee a forensic audit of the agency.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi, while presenting the report of the screening, said Nunieh from Rivers State, shunned the panel’s invitation.
The Senate had also approved on November 6 the board headed by Pius Odubu, former deputy governor of Edo state and Bernard Okumagba as managing director and asked it to take over the affairs of the commission.
President Buhari had, in October, ordered a forensic audit on the operations of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019 following criticisms of the operations of the commission.
Akpabio had explained that the forensic audit being carried out on the operations of agency will ensure a well-set governance structure for the commission.
Akpabio said the audit would reveal the reason for the failure of NDDC after 18 years of its establishment.
“The forensic audit is all-encompassing; it is about management, the projects, the quality of the deliveries.
“At the end of the audit, I will expect that the governance structure will have been well set.
”I will expect that we will now have the total number of projects and the total number of people who collected money without doing those projects.
“Above all, we would have made NDDC bankable; it is important that such an organisation should be able to approach African Export-Import Bank and bring in money and build major industries, service a lot of medium and small scale industries for employment opportunities.
“So we plan for what I call post amnesty initiatives where more than 3,000 youths are in amnesty now. They cannot remain in amnesty that is why the need to have a new NDDC.”