How budget delays stall NDDC projects
Barely a month to the end of the year, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to present the 2019 budget proposal of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the National Assembly for approval.
This is due to a series of intrigues and wit games within and outside the Niger Delta region, regarding the NDDC’s affairs. The commission’s 2019 budget proposal was supposed to have been presented to the National Assembly, processed and approved before July 31, 2019 when the commission’s 2018 budget expired.
However, it has been found out that the power play between forces disposed to the continued existence of the current Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC and those supporting the inauguration of persons already appointed and confirmed as substantive members of the commission was adversely affecting the quest to produce the 2019 budget for the NDDC. Stakeholders had called for the President’s urgent intervention to salvage the organisation and the region.
Upon expiration of its 2018 budget in July 2019, the NDDC began to spend some money yet to be approved by the National Assembly.This prompted several queries and warnings from the National Assembly, particularly the joint Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.Worried about the continuous delay in presentation of the budget proposal to the National Assembly, the House of Representatives last Tuesday, invited IMC for explanation on the non-availability of the commission’s 2019 budget.
The expired NDDC’s 2018 budget of N346. 5bn provided N2.883bn for Capital Expenditure, while N311.371bn was approved for development projects, just as N19.521bn was for Personnel Cost, while N12. 737bn was for Overhead Expenditure.Similarly, in 2017, the NDDC got a total of N364bn as its annual budget, out of which N329.850bn was approved for capital projects.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan had said the current NDDC management had become voided with the confirmation of the appointment of the commission’s board.However, the interim committee set up by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, continued to manage the commission.The minister said the committee would run the NDDC for six months and oversee the forensic audit of the agency.
No comments yet