Breaking: Buhari Sacks NDDC Interim Administrator
*Senate to receive names of nominees for new board, mgt team
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa after acting in that capacity for almost two years.
Akwa was appointed on December 12, 2020 after the removal of Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, the then acting managing director of the interventionist agency.
A statement issued in Abuja, Thursday by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), which supervises the NDDC, Patricia Deworitshe said.
The statement, captioned “NDDC Sole Administrator Relieved of Appointment”, said the president approved his immediate disengagement.
“The statement read:”President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disengagement of the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa, from his post with effect from today, 20, October 2022. Mr. Akwa was appointed interim administrator of the Commission for the duration of the Forensic Audit into the operations of the NDDC, which has now been concluded. “President Buhari has also approved the constitution of a new Management Team and Governing Board of the NDDC in line with Section (2) of the NDDC Act, 2000.
“The names of the nominees for the new management team and Governing Board are to be transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.”
The Senate had in November 2019 confirmed the nominees for the NDDC board with Dr. Pius Odubu as chairman; Bernard Okumagba (Delta) as managing Director; Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Executive Director of Projects; Maxwell Oko (Bayelsa), Executive Director of Finance and Administration; Jones Erue (Delta); Victor Ekhator (Edo); Nwogu N. Nwogu (Abia) and Theodore Allison (Bayelsa).
Others are Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Maurice Effiwat (Cross River), Olugbenga Edema (Ondo), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Muhammed (North West); Shuaibu Zubairu (North East) and Abdullahu Bage (North Central).
Rather than inaugurate the board confirmed by the Senate, the president approved the appointment of an Interim Administrator, Effiong Okon Akwa, who has just been sacked.
With the plan to send names of new nominees for the NDDC board and management to the Senate, it appears that the Presidency has jettisoned the the ones confirmed by the Senate, despite agitations for their inauguration by several stakeholders in the Niger Delta.
The immediate-past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio had repeatedly assured that the already confirmed board of the agency would be inaugurated as soon as the Forensic Audit report was submitted.
The audit report was submitted in August 2021.