Transparency and Accountability Advancement Group has faulted the proposal by Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, Olubunmni Tunji-Ojo, for the repeal of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act.
Tunji-Ojo had said he would propose a bill for the NDDC Act to be repealed and replaced with a new law. One of the highlights of the proposed bill is the provision on minimum qualifications for the offices of the Managing Director and Executive Directors.
But the group, in a statement by its National Chairman, Ebi Arogbofa said the amendment was mischievous, especially given that the current legislation is clear on the qualifications for executive positions.
The group said under Part V, Section 12(1) and (1a), the NDDC Act provides that: “There shall be for the Commission, a Managing Director, and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil producing areas starting with the member states of the commission with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate among member states in the order of production; (a) have such qualification and experience as are appropriate for a person required to perform the functions of those offices under this Act.”
On the lawmaker’s position that the NDDC Act does not provide any punishment for infraction committed within the commission, the group said: “This is not true as there are more than enough provisions in the EFCC Act, the ICPC Act and the criminal code to punish those who commit infractions in any public institution, the NDDC inclusive.”
It accused federal lawmakers of failing to defend NDDC Act when Minister of Niger Delta Affairs disregarded the governing board appointed by the President and cleared by the National Assembly in line with the NDDC Act, and instead appointed an interim managements since October 2019.
“The NDDC has been operating outside the ambit of the NDDC Act since October 2019, yet Tunji-Ojo and his colleagues did nothing to ensure that the provisions of the NDDC Act are followed,” the group said.