Confusion as Senate, Reps disagree over NDDC interim management
The crisis rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) worsened on Friday when the House of Representatives expressed strong disagreement with the position of the Senate over the legality of the Interim Management Committee set up by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President forwarded the 2019 and 2020 budgets of the commission to the two chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday for their consideration and approval.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the budget estimates to the Senate Committee on Niger Delta with a standing instruction to relate strictly with the nominees on the board of the agency screened and confirmed by the Senate since November 5.
However the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji – Ojo, was quoted by Punch Newspaper, as saying that the Green Chamber would not have anything to do with the newly approved board.
Tunji – Ojo, however, said that the House would as from next week begin interactions with the Interim Management Committee of the commission as the acting Managing Director, Dr. Gbene Nunieh, would lead her team to defend the budgets.
He said, “The board doesn’t defend the budget, it is the management that defends the budget. As far as there is no other directive from the leadership of the House of Representatives, our committee will go ahead with the budget defence with the interim management team as from next week.
“The budget has been referred to our committee and the management would defend it. Unless the board is inaugurated, we won’t allow them to come and defend the budget. As from next week, the interim management committee of the NDDC will be called upon to defend the budget.”
He disagreed with the position of the Senate Spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, who told journalists on Thursday that the red chamber would not interface with the interim management committee because it was illegal and unconstitutional.
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