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Senate approves N453.2bn 2020 budget for NDDC

The Senate, yesterday, approved the sum of N453.2 billion annual budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2020 fiscal year.

 

The Senate also approved a recommendation by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta for an extension of the budget implementation timeline to 31st March, 2021.

 

The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Chaired by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, (PDP – Delta North). In his presentation, Nwaoboshi said that out of the total sum approved,  N27,389,000,000 is for Personnel Costs; N13,937,244,107 for Overhead Expenditure; N2,793,755,893 for Internal Capital Expenditure; and N409,080,000,000 for Development Projects.

 

On revenue projection of the Commission, the lawmaker said that the Committee adopted N63,506,151,945 as reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2020. He added that the sum of N100 billion reflected as unpaid arrears by the Federal Government was not considered as part of the Commission’s revenue projection by the Committee because the amount was not approved in the 2020 Appropriations Act by the National Assembly.

Nwaoboshi stated further that against the backdrop of projection by the NDDC on revenue inflow from oil companies/ NLNG and others, the Committee adopted the submission of the Commission on Personnel Expenditure of N27,389,000,000; N13,937,244,107 as Overhead Expenditure; N2,793,755,893 Internal Capital; and N409,080,000,000 for Development Projects.

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, charged the Niger Delta Committee to ensure the proper utilization of funds by the Commission through strict oversight. “I want to emphasize here that our Committee on Niger Delta should sit-up and ensure that these funds are properly utilized.

 

The Committee has done a good job in the past, and I’m sure it will continue with that,”he said. Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP – Bayelsa West) sought the permission of the Senate President for a motion to be considered to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute the board of the NDDC.

 

“What I am rising to propose, Mr. President, that this Senate at this point, having now agreed to pass the budget, can we take a motion to the effect that the President be called upon to constitute the board in accordance with the Act without further delay; and that this budget be passed for the sake and development of the wellbeing and welfare of the people,” he said.

Responding, Lawan noted that the concerns raised by the lawmaker in his suggestion were as valid and potent as a motion considered on the floor, adding that the National Assembly would continue to engage the Executive on the need to immediately constitute the Governing Board of the Nigerian Delta Development Commission

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