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RE-DELTA STATE NOMINEE FOR EDP INTO THE FORTHCOMING BOARD OF NDDC
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RE-DELTA STATE NOMINEE FOR EDP INTO THE FORTHCOMING BOARD OF NDDC

01:54 pm on 2013-12-11

The following letter was published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 on the vanguard newspaper.

BENEFIT E. ORUGBO & ASSOCIATES

OKAKON-OGHENE CHAMBERS
Legal Practictioners, Corporate Consultants, Property Consultants and Human Right Activists
                                                                        OFFICE:
                                                                        2, Emejor Road,
                                                                        Orhuwhorun Junction/Ovwian Roundabout,
                                                                        Ovwian, Udu L.G.A., Delta State.
                                                                        Tel: 08035669140, 08073613703, 080287366503
                                                                        E-mail: befita2002@yahoo.com

28th November 2013,

THE SENATE PRESIDENT
Senator David  Mark,
National Assembly Complex,
Three Arms Zone,
Abuja

Your Excellency,

RE-DELTA STATE NOMINEE FOR CONFIRMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PROJECTS (EDP) INTO THE FORTHCOMING BOARD OF NDDC - THE NEED TO ENGAGE THE QUALIFIED CANDIDATES FOR THE COMMISSION

We act as colicitors to the Union of Niger Delta Youth Council (hereinafter referred to as "Our Client") and on whose express instruction we forward this petition to you.
It is our brief that one Mr. TUOYO OMATSULI was recently nominated for confirmation by the Senate for the position of Executive Director of Projects, (EDP) pending the formal reconstitution of the Board of Niger Delta Development COuncil (NDDC).
Our Clients grounds for this petition against the said candidate's nomination from his own showing includes:
a) NEED FOR BROAD MANAGAMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE KNOW-HOW
We gathered from our brief that this nominee has very limited management and administrative skills having only served, shortly after completing NYSC scheme in 2001, as Personal Assistant and Special Assistant (Special Duties) to the Governor of Delta state, for a period covering about 10 years. This information is readily available in the public domain and in Delta State Governement website.


In fact, Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli has not acquired the broad management and administrative skills required for the delivery of a complex and critical role as Executive Director Projects in NDDC; especially given the wide range of responsibilities assigned to this office. For purpose of clarity, this EDP office overseas not less than sixteen (16) Directors that have accumulated many years of work experience in their various fileds of endeavour or specialization. These 16 Directors include all the 9 State Directors of the NDDC member-states, and not less than 7 other specialist Directors covering a wide range of responsibilities which includes:

(1) Directorate of Utilities, Infastructure Development and Waterways (UIDW)
(2) Directorate of Environment Protection and Control (EPC)
(3) Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries (AF)
(4) Directorate of Commercial and Industrual Development (CID)
(5) Directorate of Projects Monitoring and Supervision (PMS)
(6) Directorate of Education, Health and Social Services (EHSS)
(7) Directorate of Community and Rural Development (CRD),

There is no doubt that this span of control which, apart from the 16 DIrectors above, includes more than 45 Deputy and Assistant Directors and a total staff strength of over 1050 persons is not the reponsibility for a "management trainee". Ideed, it will not only pose a potential source of shame to the engineering profession, but it represents absolute non benefit ti the Niger-Delta people and infact Nigeria as a whole.

It is our considered opinion that the office of the EDP carries with it a very significant responsibility, and therefore it cannot and should not be "bequethed" to such a relatively younger person in the engineering field on the basis of "political patronage". This manner of mediocrity should no longer be permissible in our national life, because it must be noted that millions of Niger-Deltans will be made to reap the potential calamities of any inexperience arising from same.

(b) NEED FOR ADEQUATE TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW AND SOUND ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE
It is also on record that the said nominee, after graduating with 3rd Class Honours, has not acquired any more relevant technical know-how and engineering experience having only been partially involved in the activities of a company in which he is a Director (DONPARJERS PROPERTIES LIMITED) which is an organization with very little corporate engineering experience, having undertaken some minor works like classroom construction projects. He has therefore not been adequately educated in the broader tenets of engineering practices in a multi-project environment like the NDDC, starting from project initiation, budgeting, project evaluation and critique, consultancy and design review services, technical and corporate interface management and project execution through to completion and commissioning.
There is no doubt that this multi-faceted and integrated aspects of design, consultancy, field construction, management of statutory environmental and technical standards, industrial development and management of community affairs require many years of proficient training, and will certainly become a maze of confusion for a younger trained person in engineering. Inadequacy of experience, certainly would result in inaction or slowaction, weak decision-making, incorrect technical choices and even stimulate internal conflicts that will be a clog to the ever-rising demand by concerned Niger-Deltans for development and progress.

(c) NON-REGISTRATION WITH COREN
The said Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli was nominated for confirmation to the Senate on 19th November 2013, at a time when he is not a Registered Engineer with the Council for the Registration of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), and therefire he must have been erroneously addressed as "Engr. Tyouo Omatsuli, COREN was established by Decree 55 of 1970, and amended by Decree 27 of 1992 and now an Act of the National Assembly, Engineers (Registration, etc.) Act CAP E11 of 2004 with a mandate to regulate the practice of engineering in all aspects and ramifications. The Council carries out this mandate to regulate the practice of engineering in all aspects and ramifications. The Council carries out this mandate through Accreditation of Engineering Programmes, Registering of Engineering Personnel and Firms, and also Regulation and Control threough Engineering Regulation Monitorin and other mechanisms.

In fact. Section 19(1) of the COREN Act states that, "a person shall not hold an appointment requiring status as a Registered Engineer under this Act in the public service of the Federation or State or in the Armed Forces of the Federation, unless he is an engineer registered under this Act or is otherwise exempted. Also, Section 19(4) further clarifies that "public service include service as a registered engineer in or with any institution or corporation (Federal or State) or State-owned company",

Also, Section 7(1) of the COREN Act states that "Only a Registered Engineer shall use the abbreviation "Engr." before his name", while Section 18(1) states that "any person not a Registered Engineer who: (a) for or in expectation of reward practices or holds himself out to practice as such; or (b) without reasonable excuse takes or uses name, title, addition or description implying that he is authorized by law to practice as a Registered Engineer, shall be guilty of an offence". This offence readily amounts to a false declaration which is punishable by law.

The presentation of the said nominee with a title of "Engr." goes to confirm that for an engineering professional to be appointed into such a high-ranking office, he must have been registered with COREN. We do not want to imagine that this candidate was clandestinely presented as an "Engr." with the intent of misrepresenting the facts nor was it designed to hoodwink the Senate and House of Representatives into believeing that the nominee possesses the requisite qualification and experience to function effectively in this office, Also, we cannot imagine any pre-condition that can cause the nominee (who claims to be a practicing engineer) to be exempted under the COREN Act, and if it were to be so, any such grounds for exemption must have to be formally transmitted to COREN.

It is therefore obvious, by the letters and intent of the COREN Act, that the nomination on 19th November 2013 of "Engr." Tuoyo Omatsuli for the position of Executive Director Projects (EDP) into the proposed Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commision (NDDC) stands voidable, and this ought to be considered at the stage of this said nomination and where necessary and this forecloses his further consideration for the said position.

Indeed, COREN asa an organization is also challenged to do the needful, especially as Nigeria continues to experience embarrassing structural and systemic failures brought about by the excesses of quacks in the engineering field. Therefore, we are by copy of this submission raising a petition to COREN to undertake a more rigorous review, evaluation, and possibly investigation of any claims that is made or may be made in future by this candidate in order to suport the quest for registration with COREN. We are more than convinced that many facts can be established by COREN through proper enquiry to relevant quarters to check for the originality, correctness and adequacy of the reports that were/are presented in support of the quest for certification as "Registered Engineer". It is possible for unscrupulous persons to consciously make false declarations by plagiarizing, sdopting, copying or reporting on the work output of other persons as though they were of original content; and Any Supervising Engineers found wanting ought to be sanctioned in accordance with the tenets prescribed in the COREN Act. Indeed, this calls to question the manner by which COREN appraises and approves requests for Registeration, and as to whether their actions or inactions may be inadvertently be contributing to the decay of the engineering sector in Nigeria.

CONCLUSION

On the basis of the reasons above, we are of the opinion that the nomination of "Engr." Tuoyo Omatsuli for the position of Executive Director Projects (EDP) for the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is VOIDABLE and ought to be voided by the National Assembly premised on the foregoing facts.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
FOR: BENEFIT E. ORUGBO & ASSOCIATES

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