Senate’ll decide on NDDC board January – Spokesperson
The news of the planned recomposition of the Niger Delta Development Commission is still causing confusion in the Senate, but the red chamber said it would make its position on the issue known on resumption next year.
Some senators embraced the decision of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to sack the board, which was already screened and confirmed by the red chamber, while others expressed shock at the development.
Buhari had through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina, announced that the board would be recomposed and inaugurated after the current forensic audit being carried out at the agency by an interim management team.
The development has, therefore, technically nullified the recent Senate screening and confirmation of chairman and members of the NDDC board nominees presented to the upper chamber by Buhari in October.
But the Acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told our correspondent on Saturday that there was no cause for concern over the issue.
He said the upper chamber would make its position known on the issue after the Christmas and New Year break.
He said, “The Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, which is saddled with the responsibility of working on the NDDC 2019 and 2020 budgets, has not submitted its report.
“It is when the report is submitted and considered at plenary that the Senate will take a final decision on the issue.
“So, let us leave the issue until when we resume. That is when the final decision on the newly confirmed board members and the interim management team will be taken.”
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has consistently insisted that the red chamber would not engage the interim management team but would wait until the inauguration of the board.
He subsequently warned the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs against engaging in legislative activities with the IMT.
The directors of the agency have successfully defended the 2019/2020 budgets of the commission in the Senate while the House of Representatives is dealing with the Interim Management Committee.
The budgets have not been passed at both chambers as of the time the National Assembly went on recess last week.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, refused to make comments when approached by our correspondent last week.
“What do you want me to say. I have not seen any official communication about what you are saying,” he said.