IYC tells National Assembly to ignore Budget from NDDC Interim Management
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has told the National Assembly to disregard any budget approval request from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), if submitted by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) inaugurated by Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Godswill Akpabio.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the IYC president, Eric Omare, said that under Section 18 of the NDDC Act of 2000, only the substantive board of the NDDC could submit a budget to the National Assembly for consideration. Section 18 of the NDDC Establishment Act, Number 6 of 2000, as amended, states that, “the board shall not later than 30th September in each year, submit to the National Assembly, through the President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces an estimate of the expenditure and income of the commission for the next succeeding year for approval.”
According to Omare, the National Assembly has a duty to defend the law, maintaining that the problem with NDDC since its inception is non-adherence to the law establishing it.“Instead of strictly complying with the law establishing NDDC, emphasis is placed on political patronage instead of using the NDDC as a platform to develop the Niger Delta region,” he lamented.
The IYC president regretted that despite the Senate’s confirmation of a substantive board for NDDC, the government has not deemed it fit to inaugurate the board. “Given the myriad problems in the region, we had looked forward to the inauguration of the board, knowing that it will bring a level of sanity and stability to the commission.
“Unfortunately and to our surprise, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Akpabio, set up an illegal Interim Management Committee that is not contemplated by the NDDC Act.“There is absolutely no reason in the present circumstance for an IMC because President Muhammadu Buhari has already exercised his powers under Section 2 of the NDDC Act to nominate members of the substantive board to the National Assembly and the Senate has confirmed members of the substantive board.”
Omare stated that what ought to have happened was for the substantive board to take over the leadership of the commission immediately, but regretted that two weeks after the clearance, “we still have a contraption called an interim management committee presiding over the NDDC in flagrant violation of the law establishing the NDDC.”