The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta on Thursday screened Lauretta Onochie as Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.
Onochie, a Special Assistant on Social Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, was screened by the joint committees alongside 13 others for NDDC board roles.
Buhari had written to the Senate requesting the Upper Chamber to confirm the appointment of the Chairman and Members of the NDDC board in accordance with the provisions of section 2( 2)( a) of the Niger Delta Development Commission( Establishment) Act.
However, there appeared to be reservations by some committee members against the nomination of Onochie notably on the grounds that she is not from an oil-producing community in Delta State where she hails from and this is against the NDDC Act and consequently she cannot chair the commission.
Committee member, Senator Seriake Dickson noted this during the screening exercise but he got pushback from some committee members who argued that it is not explicitly stated in the NDDC Act.
Another committee member, Senator Orji Kalu reminded his colleagues that a former NDDC Chairman Onyema Ugochukwu is from Abia State.
This is the second time Buhari forwarded a list of nominees for the NDDC board for confirmation.
He sent the first list of nominees for the board in 2021 and the Senate screened and confirmed the nominees.
However, Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated that Buhari’s decision to send another list of nominees for confirmation was because there was a flaw in the previous compilation.
NDDC Board Nominees
Below are some of the new nominees for the NDDC board:
1. Chairman – Laureta Ifeanyi Onochie (Delta, South-South)
2. Dimgba Erugba State representative (Abia, South-East)
3. Dr Ene Wilcox (Akwa Ibom, State Representative, South-South)
4. Dr Pius Odudu (Edo, South-South)
5. Hon.Gbenga Odegba (Ondo, South-West)
6. Engr. Anthony Ekene (Imo, South-East)
7. Onyekachi Dimgba (Rivers, South-South)
8. Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Abubakar (Zonal Representative, Nasarawa)
9. Professor Tallen Mamma, SAN (North-East Representative, Adamawa)
10. Sodique Sani (North-West, Zonal Representative)
11. Chief Dr. Samuel Ibukun (MD)
12. General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd) (Executive of Finance)
13. Charles Ogunmola (Executive Director Project, South-West)