The President cannot make the NDDC under the Niger Delta Ministry

nddc

Since after the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board by the Minister of Niger Delta Pst Usani Uguru Usani, there have been some misinformation that the Niger Delta Development Commission has been made to report directly to the Niger Delta Ministry. By implication, the Niger Delta Development Commission is presented as losing its legal autonomy; and made to be an anex of the Niger Delta Ministry.

Section 8 of the Act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission states that commission shall have powers to:

(a) manage and supervise affairs of the Commission;

(b) make rules and regulations for carrying out the functions of the Commission.  

(c) enter and inspect premises, projects and such places as may be necessary for the purposes of carrying out its functions under this Act; 

(d) pay the staff of the Commission such remuneration and allowances as appropriate;

(e) enter into such contracts as may be necessary or expedient for the discharge of its functions and ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission; 

(f) do such other things as are necessary and expedient for the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission. 

From the provisions of the Act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Commission is independent of the Niger Delta Ministry. Nothing in the Act suggest that the Niger Delta Development Commission is under the Niger Delta Ministry.

For some reasons, the President delegated powers to the Minister of Niger Delta to inaugurate the members of the Niger Delta Development Commission board. The President has rights to delegate Powers to whoever he feels and such a delegation is protected by the relevant laws of Nigeria.

It will be misconstrued to interpret the fact of such a delegation to mean that the President has placed the Niger Delta Development Commission board under the supervision of the Niger Delta Ministry. The President surely lacks powers to do that. Only an amendment or repeal of the Act that establishes  the Niger Delta Development Commission can achieve that. Nigeria is not a banana republic. The President must have been misconstrued.

There are reports that Permanent Secretary Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Alo William, said President Mohammadu Buhari as part of his commitment to ensuring total development in the Niger Delta region, had announced on Monday October 31, 2016, that the NDDC shall henceforth be reporting to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. This, according to the President, will give room for proper coordination of activities in the region.

Such claims can surely not come from the President and is not a possibility save by an Act of the National Assembly. As a matter of urgency, the permanent Secretary must withdraw such a statement and apologize for misrepresenting the President.

We appreciate the honour given our Cross River State born Minister of Niger Delta to inaugurate the Niger Delta Commission board and call on all to stop misrepresenting the President. We must stop misinterpreting the laws that establishes the Niger Delta Development Commission. Once more, a big congratulations to Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (Chairman Niger Delta Development Commission) Pst Usani Uguru Usani (Minister Niger Delta) and Hon Sylvester Nsa (Hon Commissioner of Niger Delta Development Commission, Representing Cross River State)

Joseph Odok (Social Change Agent) 

Twitter@ JoeOdok

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