NDDC board: Don’t create more problems for presidency, group urges NASS

A civil society organisation, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD), has urged the House of representatives  to avoid creating more crisis for President Muhammadu Buhari in the Niger Delta region.   

A press release signed by the group’s  national president, Comrade Igbini Odafe Emmanuel, and made avaible to Blueprint Thursday urged  the presidency to disregard manipulationn of NDDC board membership that is likely to generate crisis between stakeholders in Niger Delta and presidency.

“We are shocked and very disappointed to read that some members and leadership of the House of Representatives on June 10, 2021, resolved to urge President Buhari to disregard the Senate screened and confirmed members of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which were put on standby for forensic auditing of alleged monumental fraud in the past twenty years of the Commission.
“The timing of this said Resolution coming only few days after the Elders, Youths and High Chief TOMPOLO vehemently opposed the continued unlawful hijack of the NDDC by a Sole Administrator and demanded immediate inauguration of the Substantive Board of NDDC to avoid total showdown of oil production in the Region, raises concern,” the release reads in part.

According to the release, the resolution by  members of the House of Representatives is coming barely one day after President Buhari, in an  interview, commended the elders and youths of the South-South region for the prevailing peace and security, which has allowed smooth production of crude oil and gas for sustanance of the economy at this critical time in our nation’s history
Everyone is  “fully aware that the Senate, before confirming members of this NDDC Board placed on standby because of forensic auditing, carefully considered these same arguments being represented by these members of House of Representatives. Why then are these members representing same if not only to create avoidable and unnecessary crisis for President Buhari and Nigeria?

“Their action is also regretably targeted at discrediting the Senate and unjustly bringing the Hallowed Red Chamber to Public Ridicule.” The  group therefore, urged Nigerians to resist new members now in order to save our country from further crisis.”Because it is better imagined if the South-South Region is provoked to anger at this time of increasing Insecurity and Instability in other Geopolitical Zones of Nigeria.”

The group further said, what they  expected  the entire members of the National Assembly to urgently do is to jointly resolve to direct that in addition to immediate inauguration of the substantive board of NDDC, the administrative and operational headquarters of the multinational and Nigerian oil and gas companies immediately and unconditionally move to Niger Delta,  in line with Sections 16 and 17 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended.
“It makes no economic sense for Headquarters of Companies to be far remote from the source of their raw materials as this will cause increase in cost of Production and sharp drop in profit margin as we witness in the case of Nigerian Oil and Gas producing Companies that spend huge funds in maintaning their Offices in Lagos and transporting hundreds of their Operations Staff from Lagos to South-South Region and back on daily basis.”
The group therefore call on President Buhari and the Senate to disregard the said resolution by  members of House of Representatives and go ahead to immediately inaugurate the substantive board of NDDC as agreed by the people of the South-South and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.