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November 28, 2023
State News

What has Ilaje, Ondo State done? — Opinion

Sir: The Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC) was the intervention agency set up to cater for the needs of areas impacted by serial degradation on account of several years of oil production by former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

This agency was a creation backed by a law called the NDDC Act 2001.  Chapter 12 of this law states that: ‘‘There shall be for the Commission, a managing director, and two executive directors who SHALL be indigenes of oil producing areas starting with states of the commission with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate amongst member states in the order of production.’’
Notwithstanding the good intention for the creation of this law, particularly the provision of the Chapter 12 which requires the government to rotate the appointments of managing director and the two executive directors among oil producing states in order of production quantum as follows; Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross Rivers states.
The various regimes rather than following the requirement that prescribes rotation have unlawfully chosen repetition favouring the first four states of Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states to the disadvantage of Ondo, Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross Rivers states.A careful look at previous appointments made shows a rather unfortunate trend; The first Board of the NDDC (2001-2004) had Godwin Omene and Emmanuel Agwariavwodo, both from Delta State as MDs; Chief Timi Alaibe, from Bayelsa as EDFA; as well as Udoh Mboso and Ukot, both from Akwa Ibom State as EDP.
Second board (2005-2009) had Chief Timi Alaibe from Bayelsa as the MD; Chief P.Z Aginigha from Delta as the EDFA and Engr. Beniah Ojurn from Rivers as the EDP.
The third board (2009-2011) had Mr Uguwoha from Rivers as MD; Chief P.Z. Aginigha from Delta as the EDFA; and Engr. Etteh from Akwa-Ibom as the EDP. Still, the third board (2011-2013) had Dr Christian Oboh from Rivers as the MD; Mr Lambert Konboye from Delta as the EDFA; while Edikan Eshiet Eshiet from Akwa Ibom was the EDP.
The fourth board (2013-2015) consisted of Mr. Dan Abia (Akwa Ibom), managing director; Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli (Delta), executive director, Projects and Mr. Itotenan Ogiri (Rivers), executive director, Finance. Still, the fourth board (2016-2018) had Nsima Ekere from Akwa lbom as the MD; Mene Derek from Rivers as the EDFA; while Samuel Adjogbe from Delta was the EDP.
During the years 2018 to 2022, there was no substantive board, as it was the era of sole administrators/acting managing directors, it is also worthy of note that none of these sole administrators/acting managing directors was at any time of Ondo State origin.
The last board (January 2023-September 2013) had Mr. Samuel Ogbuku from Bayelsa as the MD; Major General Charles Airhiavbare from Edo as the EDFA; while Mr. Charles Ogunmola from Owo in Ondo State was the EDP.
The lawful and rightful thing to be done now is, to appoint an Ilaje from Ondo State as the managing director based on the type of president/commander in chief Nigeria is blessed with now.Akinola Gbonegun, an engineer, wrote from Lagos.

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