Senate confirms Okumagba, 2 others as members NDDC Board


Chief Bernard Okumagba.

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The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of Chief Bernard Okumagba and two others as board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

While Chief Okumagba would represent Delta State on the board of the agency, the two other board members, whose appointments were confirmed, are Patrick Aisowieren (Edo) and Kyrian Chidiebere Uchegbu (Imo).

The development followed adoption of the report of Senate Committee on Niger Delta, presented by Senator Amos Bulus (APC, Gombe State).

President Muhammadu Buhari had a fortnight ago sought the Senate’s nod to screen and confirm the three nominees on the board of the NDDC.

The DEFENDER reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on May 9, 2023, written the Senate, seeking for the Red Chamber’s screening and confirmation of three new nominees for the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who read the letter of President Buhari, said the nominees are for Delta, Edo and Imo states.

President Buhari, in the letter, said that it was in accordance with provisions of Section 2(2)A of the NDDC Act, Cap N 86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

He listed the names as Bernard Oboatarhieyeren (Delta State); Patrick Isoweren (Edo State) and Kieran Chididere (Imo State).

Recall that President Buhari had last year forwarded to the Senate for confirmation, his Special Assistant on Digital and Social Media, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, from Delta as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and 14 other nominees for the board.

According to Buhari in the letter, Chief Samuel Ogbuku would serve as the Managing Director for a term of two years to complete the term of his predecessor in office from Bayelsa State, South South, while Major General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) is the Executive Director, Finance and Charles Ogunmola, Executive Director Project, Ondo, South West.

Other members of the NDDC board as forwarded to the Senate at the time were former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, as representing Edo State, South South; Dimgba Erugba representing Abia, South East; Dr. Emem Wilcos Wills, representing Akwa Ibom, South South; Elder Dimaro Denyabofa, representing Bayelsa State, South South; Hon. Orok Duke, representing Cross River, South South; Engineer Anthony Okanne, representing Imo State, South East and Hon. Gbenga Edema, Ondo State, South West.

Others are Elekwachi Dinkpa, State Representative, Rivers State, South-South; Alhaji Mohammed Kabir Abubakar, (Zonal Representative, Nasarawa State, North-Central; Alhaji Sule Iko Sadeeq Sani Sami (Zonal Representative, Kebbi State, North-West; and Professor Tahir Mamman, SAN, (Zonal Representative, Adamawa State, North-East.

Also recall that Soon after the list was read, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, APC, Delta Central however protested that the there was no representation from Delta State in line with the act establishing the NDDC that each state of the NDDC must have a representative, just as he pleaded with the Executive to correct the anomaly.

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