The Senate has confirmed 13 members and chairman of the board of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The Senate committee on Niger-Delta had in its report after the screening of the nominees recommended the confirmation and approval of 13 nominees based on their “intimidating credentials and performance at the screening exercise.”
This is amid opposition from two senators – Magnus Abe and Wilson Ake – who objected to the confirmation of two of the members, Itotenaan Henry Ogiri, nominated as the executive director, finance and administration and Ephraim Sobere Etete, state representative, both from Rivers State.
Senator Abe and Ake insisted that the two nominees were not presented by the Rivers State government.
“What happened in Rivers State is something I have not seen before. It did not follow the right procedure. The executive director finance was not given to Rivers State as a dash, it was given to Rivers State because it is an oil producing state,” Ake said.
But some other senators maintained that the nominees were eminently qualified and deserved the positions.
The Senate in the rule book has it that if two senators from a state oppose a nominee, that nominee stands down.
But this situation seemed an exception as majority of the lawmakers saw the opposition of the two senators from Rivers State as simply political.
Senate President, David Mark, appealed to the senators to be careful not to bring state politics into the National Assembly.
“Senators stand and decisions must take into consideration the entire nation,” Mark said.
Senator Mark added that the activities of NDDC should impact on the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region.
“The Commission has over the years completely failed to perform. The newly confirmed board must stamp its feet and ensure that they perform. President Goodluck Jonathan shall not hesitate to remove anyone who does not perform,” he said.
President Jonathan had sent a letter to the Senate on November 20, requesting the approval and confirmation of the nominees as board members of the NDDC.