While receiving governors of the constituent states that make-up NDDC in Aso Rock on October 17, 2019, President Buhari said that “I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions especially the NDDC.”
However, the reverse has been the case. Since the inauguration of the Buhari Presidency on May 29, 2015, it has serially violated the law setting up NDDC by consistently choosing to administer the commission through illegal interim managements and Sole Administrator contraptions that are alien to the law setting up NDDC.
In the six and a half-years tenure of President Buhari, NDDC has only been administered by a substantive Board for two years, between November 2016 and January 2019 when Senator Victor Ndom-Egba was Chairman while Nsima Ekere was the Managing Director.
There is a pattern of illegalities instituted by the current administration to undermine accountability at the NDDC in a way that no other federal agency has been so treated in the last six and a half years of the Buhari Presidency. In the 15-year history of the NDDC, prior to President Buhari’s coming in 2015, an interim appointment had never been made outside of the law, even when the governing boards were dissolved.
Prior to Buhari’s coming to power in 2015, in the absence of a Board duly constituted in line with the NDDC Act, the Most Senior Civil Servant in the NDDC took over as Managing Director in acting capacity for a brief period until a Board was constituted in line with the NDDC Act. The NDDC Act does not permit the appointment of any external persons from outside the Commission to act as Managing Director or Sole Administrator without compliance with the Act which requires nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate.