The recent resolution of the House of Representatives on the need for the Federal Government to Constitute the board of the NDDC in line with the Act establishing the commission was partly well intentioned and partly calculated to mislead the National Assembly Particularly the House of Representatives and of course Mr. President and the general Public.
While I concur with the resolution urging the Federal Government to abide by the provision of sections 4 and 12 of the NDDC Act, 2000, I am also of the view that the President did not violate the Act when he constituted the yet to be inaugurated board which was screened and confirmed by the Senate in August, 2019. Therefore, the call for the constitution of the board is mischievous as there is a board already constituted awaiting inauguration
However, assuming, but not conceding that there is a need to reconstitute the board, the consideration of which State among Edo, Ondo and Imo States (as contained in the resolution) will produce the next Managing Director of NDDC cannot be in favour of Ondo State. This is because the facts and figures on ground only shows that Edo State (and not Ondo State) is the 5th highest Oil and Gas Producing State among the NDDC member States.
For the avoidance of doubt and contrary to the impression created by Hon. Kolade Akinjo, a Lawmaker from Ondo State who moved the said motion, figures from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) from December 2020 to May 2021 shows clearly that Edo State, (the heartbeat of the Nation) produces more Crude oil and gas than Ondo State. Infact, after the big four States of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa, Edo State is next in line in the choice of the Chief Executive of the Commission. The table below shows the chart of oil and gas production quantum between Edo and Ondo States.
|STATE||PERIOD||OIL (bbl)||GAS (ft3)||TOTAL|
|Edo Ondo||December,2020||1,069,060 1,004,058||10,221,008 3,077,319||11,290,068 4,083,377|
|Edo Ondo||January, 2021||1,125,242 1,072,018||10,229,841 3,184,309||11,355,083 4,256,327|
|Edo Ondo||February, 2021||1,161,399 1,040,412||10,951,993 2,971,263||12,113,332 4,011,675|
|Edo Ondo||March, 2021||1,201,763 1,033,504||11,331,918 3,162,022||12,533,681 4,195,526|
|Edo Ondo||April, 2021||1,204,559 1,022,604||11,358,404 2,946,715||12,562,963 3,969,319|
|Edo Ondo||May, 2021||1,110,502 1,008,441||11,006,668 3,140,62||12,117,170 4,149,063|
It is therefore important to educate those who do not understand that section 30 of the NDDC Act 2000 defines “OIL” to mean “Oil and Gas”. Therefore, given the primacy of Edo State in gas production over and above many states members of the NDDC, it is unthinkable that Edo State will come after Ondo State in Oil and gas production Quantum for the purpose of considering the leadership of the commission. This is tantamount to turning the truth on its head.
Edo State and Ondo State have had a long history of commonalities and as such it is unacceptable for some representatives to try to manipulate facts and figures to mislead the President and all Stakeholders on matters that are easily verifiable.
Therefore, I urge Edo representatives to file a fresh motion to correct the wrong impression created by the Ondo born Lawmaker in the said motion and subsequent resolution. He clearly misled the House of Representatives and it is unacceptable.
Consequently, we urge Mr. President to take urgent and decisive steps to put the NDDC on the path of progressive change by inaugurating the board he has already appointed and which the Senate has also confirmed
Given the length of time that it has taken to carry out the forensic audit of the commission, Mr. President should not give in to the manipulation of some persons to delay the smooth running of the interventionist agency. This cannot be Mr. Presidents wish and understanding of the state of Affairs of the Commission.
It is now on record, that since the last board was dissolved in 2019, the commission has been under several Management that were put together in violation of the Law establishing the commission with the result that many (if not all) of the member States of the Commission have been shut out of the Management of the Commission. This situation is not only unfair, unlawful but also unacceptable to the Stakeholders.
Edo State deserves its fair treatment as the 5th Member State of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Engr. Desmond Ogbodu is a Chemical Engineer and writes from Lagos