The Senate has confirmed 15 nominees out of the 16 presented by President Muhammadu Buhari for the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed them after Senator Peter Nwoboshi, Chairman of the NDDC Committee, presented a report to the chamber. Nwoboshi, While presenting his report on the floor of the upper legislative chamber,said all the nominees are ”eminently qualified” to be on the board.
“All the nominees were screened and the outcome contained in the report,” the lawmaker said.
“The committee finds that the qualifications of the nominees will impact the commission positively.”
The confirmed nominees include the Chairman, Pius Odubu (Edo); Managing Director, Bernard Okumagba (Delta); Executive Director Projects, Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom); Executive Director Finance and Admin, Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa); Delta State representative, Jones Erue; Victor Ekhatar (Edo) and Nwogu Nwogu (Abia).
Others are Theodore Allison (Bayelsa); Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom); Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River); Olugbenga Elema Ondo); Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo); Northwest Rep, Aisha Muhammed (Kano); Northeast Rep, Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and Southwest Rep, Badmus Mutalib (Lagos).
Nwoboshi, however, said Joy Yimebe Nunieh, a nominee from Rivers state and interim managing director, did not show up for the screening exercise.
Report has it that the screening was conducted without asking any of the nominees any serious questions. Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari wrote the Senate last week seeking confirmation of the 16 NDDC nominees.
The Senate Committee on NDDC was thereafter, asked to screen the nominees and report back after a week. In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, urged the Senate to adopt the recommendations of the committee having done what was requested of the president. Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also moved that the recommendations be adopted.
He noted that an interim management has been set up by the federal government to oversee the commission and that the earlier the nominees were confirmed and assume duty, the better.
In his remark, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, commended the committee for the transparent and open manner of screening and confirmation. He hoped that the nominees will keep the trust of Nigerians and discharge responsibilities bestowed on them by the NDDC Act.
Mr Lawan also stressed the need for the lawmakers to “do oversight and ensure that every kobo counts.” With their clearance by the Senate, the next step is for the nominees to be sworn in by the President Muhammadu Buhari or his representative.