By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Fifth term federal lawmaker and Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Essien Ayi has accused t he presidency of aiding illegality over the non inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Mr. Ayi also faulted the Niger Delta Affairs minister, Godswill Akpabio’s claim that the delay was for a forensic audit of the commission’s accounts.
“The presidency is aiding illegality by not inaugurating the NDDC board and allowing endless operation of the commission with a caretaker committee and Sole Administrator,” Ayi who represents the Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi federal constituency told newsmen after handing over equipment for different trades to 130 beneficiaries in his constituency.
The Guardian quoted Ayi as saying: “The act setting up the NDDC provides for a board, chairman and managing director on rotational basis among the states in the region. There is no provision for caretaker committee or sole administrator and as such, running the commission without them is illegal.
“I don’t know why Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has refused to inaugurate the NDDC board that has been screened by the National Assembly.”
The NDDC was established in 2000 by the NDDC establishment act of that same year and was charged with the responsibility of formulating policies and guidelines for the development and rehabilitation of the region. The commission has been plagued with scandals with the most publicized been in 2020.
And, Ayi who posited that Nigerians were aware of the numerous scandals in the commission including the current arrangement in place, averred that: “Nobody is against the forensic audit and it cannot conflict with the work of a substantive board and so they cannot stop the inauguration of the board because of a forensic audit.”
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