By BASHIR ADEFAKA, Abuja
The DEFENDER can now authoritatively report that the long awaited Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been inaugurated and will begin work immediately.
The inauguration, on Wednesday January 4, 2023, followed a letter emanating from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, signed by Permanent Secretary, Adebiyi Olufunso, earlier informing that the event would hold as it has now been.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Senate had on December 20, 2022 confirmed Lauretta Onochie as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) along with 12 others, after President Muhammadu Buhari had transmitted a letter containing their names in accordance with the NDDC (Establishment) Act, 2008.
Olufunso, in the letter, dated December 29, 2022, said: “Following recent confirmation and clearance of the newly constituted board of NDDC by the Senate, the President has further granted approval for the inauguration of the board to commence work immediately.”
The acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, Tuesday morning held a valedictory meeting with the management staff to prepare for the handing over to a new management.
Held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, the inauguration was performed by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, accompanied by his Minister of State, Mrs Sharon Ikeazu, witnessed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, represented, and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, among other top government functionaries.
“I appreciate His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for fulfilling the law by keeping his promise of approving the Board of NDDC in line with section 2 subsection 1 of the NDDC Act 2000. Today, we are witnessing the inauguration of the board in fulfillment of Mr. President’s promise that he will put in place a genuine board for the commission after the completion of the forensic audit,” the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, said at the inauguration on Wednesday.
President Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, from Delta State representing the South South Geopolitical Zone, was inaugurated to now mount her seat as Chairman of the Board of NDDC, while Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) from Edo State was inaugurated as the Executive Director, Finance, and Charles Ogunmola from Ondo State, as Executive Director, Projects.
Others inaugurated on Wednesday were Dimgba Erugba, representing Abia State; Dr. Emem Willcox Wills, from Akwa Ibom State; Elder Denyanbofa Dimaro, from Bayelsa State; Orok Duke, Cross River State; Dr. Pius Odudu, from Edo State, Anthony Ekenne, from Imo State; Gbenga Edema, from Ondo State; Elekwachi Dimkpa, from Rivers State; Alhaji Mohammed Kabir Abubakar, from Nasarawa State, representing North Cenral Geopolitical Zone; Alhaji Sadiq Sami Sule-Ikoh, from Kebbi State, representing the North West; and Prof. Tahir Mamman (SAN), from Adamawa State, representing the North East Geopolitical Zone on the Board of the NDDC.