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Buhari Seeks Senate Confirmation of Chairman, Board Members for NDDC

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In a letter read at the Senate plenary on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari sought the confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of  his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board. The full list of the NDDC Board as announced by President Buhari includes:

  1. Lauretta Onochie – Chairman
  2. Samuel Ogbuku – Managing Director
  3. Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere – Director of Finance
  4. Charles Ogunmola – Director of Project
  5. Dimgba Erugba – Abia
  6. Ene Wilcos Wills – Akwa Ibom
  7. Dimaro Denyanbofa – Bayelsa
  8. Orok Duke – Cross River
  9. Pius Odudu – Edo
  10. Gbenga Edema – Ondo
  11. Anthony Okanne – Imo
  12. Elekwachi Dinkpa – Rivers
  13. Mohammed Kabiru Abubakar – North Central
  14. Tahir Mamman – Adamawa – North East
  15. Sadeeq Sami – North West

The NDDC has been without a Board for almost four years. There have been calls for the inauguration of a board for the Commission by various groups in the Niger Delta region. In October 2019, President Buhari sent a list of nominees to be appointed as Chairman and members of the Board of the Commission, to the Senate which screened the nominees and confirmed their appointments in November 2019. However, their inauguration was put on hold pending the completion of the forensic audit report of the Commission, which was ordered following allegations of mismanagement in the Commission. In August 2021, former Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio stated that the President would inaugurate the Board after receipt of the forensic audit report. However, the Board was still not inaugurated after the report was submitted to the President in September 2021.

While some groups in the region called for a new set of nominees to be presented to the Senate for confirmation, others called for the inauguration of  the previous nominees who were screened and confirmed by the Senate in 2019.

President Buhari also transmitted the 2021, 2022 and 2023 budgets of the NDDC to the National Assembly on  23rd November 2022.