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By Okoi Obono-Obla
I think the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should retrace its step and bow to the superiority of the Governing Board of the Commission.
The attempt to engage the Governing Board in a power tussle is misplaced, diversionary,y and unconstitutional.
The powers of the Governing Board and Management of the NDCC are defined, spelled out, delineated, and demarcated by the NDCC (Establishment, etc,) 2004 and therefore there is no basis for any tussle and misunderstanding.
The powers of the Governing Board of the NDDC are spelled out in section 8
subsection (a-f) of the NDDC Act as follows:
The Board shall have the power to:-
(a) manage and supervise affairs of the Commission;
(b) make rules and regulations for carrying out the functions of the Commission
(c) 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,
(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.
The Governing Board is the manager and supervisor of the Commission.
The Managing Director is a member of the Governing Board and also the Chairman of the Management Committee of the Commission.
The Management Committee of the Commission also consists of the two executive directors, the directors responsible for the directorates created under section 9, and such number of other members as may be determined from time to time by the Board.
The directorates are :
(a)the Directorate of Administration and Human Resources,
(b) the Directorate of Community and Rural Development,
(c) the Directorate of Utilities Infrastructural Development and Waterways,
(d) the Directorate of Environmental Protection and Control,
(e) the Directorate of Finance and Supply;
(f) the Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries
(g) the Directorate of Planning, Research, Statistics, and Management Information System;
(h) the Directorate of Legal Services
(i) the Directorate of Education, Health and Social Services;
(j) the Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Development, and
(k) the Directorate of Projects Monitoring and Supervision.
However, the Managing Director is the Chief Executive and accounting officer of the Commission.
He is therefore in charge of the day-to-day running of the Commission but is subject to the supervision and management of the Governing Board.
By section 12 (2) of the NDDC Act, the Managing Director is also subject to the general direction of the Board, be responsible-
(a) for the day-to-day administration of the Commission;
(b) for keeping the books and Proper records of the proceedings of the Board, and
(c) for –
(i) the administration of the secretariat of the Board, and
(ii) the general direction and control of all other employees of the Commission.
From the above, it is clear that the Management of the Commission is subject to the supervision, management, amendment, and control of the Governing Board of the NDDC and cannot override it in any way in whatever it is doing in its running and management of the daily affairs of the Commission.
I, therefore shudder at the audacity of the Management of the Commission to purport to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding or agreement under any guise with American management consisting firm to develop a railway in the nine NDDC States without the knowledge consent, and approval of the Governing Board of the NDDC.
I have read the statement of defense issued by the management of the NDDC in response to the disavowal of the purported Memorandum of Understanding.
The defense is tenuous, half-hearted, and a mere farrago of the word.
The management should proceed as a matter of real urgency and set aside the memorandum of understanding and apologize to the people of the Niger Delta. Period!