Governors of the predominantly oil-producing Southern states in Nigeria, have expressed misgivings over the recently reported reconstitution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors are Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) Godwin Obaseki, (Edo), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa).
Reports suggest that Emeka Ihedioha (Imo) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), were represented while Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State were noticeably absent at the meeting and there was no indication that they may have sent representatives either.
The position of the governors was delivered by Governor Dickson of Bayelsa after the meeting they held in Abuja on Thursday, August 29, to review developments in the region and especially in the NDDC.
Dickson, who is also the Chairman of the South South Governors Forum and co-Chairman, Southern Governors Forum, addressed newsmen after the meeting. He said: “We are all unanimously of the view that we are concerned about the governance process of that very critical development agency. We are aware of the general dissatisfaction of the various states in the regions.
“We are also concerned about the way and manner the recent appointments have been made. Arising from all these, firstly we want to use this opportunity to call for calm in all our states following the recent announcement that were made.
“And accordingly, we have decided that as soon as it is convenient for Mr President, we intend to have an audience with him because we are critical stakeholders and the NDDC is a very critical developmental agency that is structured to partner and collaborate with the state governors who are critical partners.
Governor Dickson further noted that unfortunately, the oil-producing states had not seen much collaboration and the governors would love to have an audience with President Buhari to address some of these disturbing observations with him.
“We have resolved to have an audience with Mr. President and as soon as his convenience permits to discuss in greater details, our views on some of these critical issues affecting the NDDC, so that it will be repositioned for greater efficiency and then you have an effective governance mechanism, to carry on with their business. That is what we have met and agreed on.
“We want to end by calling for peace in all our states across the oil-producing states. We the governors are committed to meeting with the President to resolve these issues,” Governor Dickson revealed.
Recall that a Press release from the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, issued on August 27, had stated that President Muhammadu Buhati had approved the composition of a new board for the NDDC and the appointed persons had been directed, by the statement, to report to the Office of the SGF on September 2, for proper documentation and briefing ostensibly in preparation for the procedural screening and confirmation by the Senate, once their names have been officially transmittef to the national assembly, as members of the NDDC Board.
The letter from the office of the SGF reads thus:
APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD OF THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC)
President Muhammadu Buhari, has, subject to Senate
confirmation, approved the composition of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) made up of the following persons:
S/N Position Name State
1 Chairman – Dr. Pius Odubu – Edo
2 Managing Director – Bernard O. Okumagba – Delta
3 Executive Director Projects – Engr. Otobong Ndem – Akwa Ibom
4 Executive Director Finance & Admin. – Maxwell Okoh – Bayelsa
5 Delta Rep – Prophet Jones Erue – Delta
6 Edo Rep – Chief Victor Ekhator – Edo
7 Rivers Rep – Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh – Rivers
8 Abia Rep – Nwogu Nwogu – Abia
9 Bayelsa Rep – Theodore A. Allison – Bayelsa
10 Akwa Ibom Rep – Victor Antai – Akwa Ibom
11 Cross River Rep – Maurice Effiwatt – Cross River
12 Ondo Rep – Olugbenga Elema – Ondo
13 Imo Rep – Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian – Imo
14 Northwest Rep – Aisha Murtala Muhammed – Kano
15 Northeast Rep – Ardo Zubairu – Adamawa
16 Southwest Rep – Engr. Badmus Mutalib – Lagos
2. The interim management headed by Prof. Nelson Brambaifa has been directed to hand-over to the most senior Director in the Commission.
3. The Chairman and members of the newly composed Governing Board are by this release invited to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday 2nd September, 2019 at 2.00 p.m for proper documentation and briefing. They are to come along with their updated CVs and valid identification.
Olusegun A. Adekunle, Esq, (KJW)
Permanent Secretary (General Services Office)
for: Secretary to the Government of the Federation.