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NDDC: Stop Usurping Board’s Functions – Stakeholders Caution Management

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A group operating under the banner of G-37 has condemned the constitutional lapses in day to day running of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), where the Board has been sidelined in major procurement issues.

The  body, composed of former All Progressives Congress Party (APC) States Chairmen and past members of the party’s Non – NWC  2014- 2021 stated this in a statement they made available to newsmen on Thursday.

The statement was signed by Prophet Jones Ode Erue,  and Dr. Ben Nwoye, Chairman and Secretary respectively, described the efforts at usurping the functions of the Board  in any disguise as a gross violation of law that established the Commission and due process.

Prophet Erue is a former  Chairman of APC in Delta state, while Nwoye is the immediate past Chairman of the ruling party in Enugu state.

The stakeholders who noted that it can no longer fold its hands and watch the ongoing administrative recklessness being perpetrated against the Board, said it was compelled to raise the alarm in order to expose the agenda of selfish few who are bent on derailing the genuine sustainable development vision of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the region by re-constituting the board after the completion of the forensic audit of the activities of the Commission 

Specifically, the stakeholders mentioned the case of the $15billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the management of the Commission and a United States-based firm, Atlanta Global Resources Inc. signed recently for the construction of a mega rail line that would connect the nine states of the Niger Delta region without the consent of the Board.

It noted that the situation where the management would be carrying out such a multi billion Dollar contract and leaving the Board out was completely unacceptable, adding that these were some of the issues that tends to divide the Commission and makes it difficult to deliver its mandate to better the lives of the people in the region.

Recall that recently the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Samuel Ogbuku, signed an MoU on behalf of the Commission with a US-Based firm, Atlanta Global Resources Inc., for the construction of a mega rail line that would connect the nine states of the Niger Delta region.

But reacting to the MoU, the Chairman of the Commission, Lauretta Oniochie, distanced herself from the controversial $15 billion contract, declaring the contract as illegal, null and void.

Onochie in a statement said the NDDC Management lacked the powers to sign the MoU without the Board’s approval, describing it as “Shady”

She declared,  “the Board’s   attention has been drawn to a publication in some national dailies of the purported signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between a US firm, Atlanta Global Resources Inc.and the NDDC, whose Board I chair, for the construction of a mega rail project across the Niger Delta, from Lagos to Calabar.”

She stated further, that “ this was done without my knowledge and without the authorization, nor consent of the Board. Everything about this shady “MOU” is illegal due to the act establishing the NDDC (Act No 6, of 2000), it is the Chairman of the board that is solely vested with the power to sign MOUs with any organisation.”

The APC-G37 noted that the position of the Board Chairman represents the generality of the opinion of the people of Niger Delta region and urged the Management to act accordingly with the provisions of the enabling act setting up the Commission for the betterment of the people of the region.

The group further condemned calls for the sack of the Board’s Chairman, as an unwarranted exercise aimed at blackmailing and derailing Lauretta Onochie, who is determined to execute the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari, of running a transparent and diligent Commission in line with the best global practices.


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