Reps ask NDDC to halt release of N15 bn to FG
The House of Representatives has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to put on hold the release of N15 billion counterpart funding of humanitarian intervention by the Federal Government.
This followed the adoption of an urgent motion of public importance by Rep. Unyime Idem (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Thursday.
In his motion, he said the Ministry of Niger Delta was mandated to attend to intervention and humanitarian needs of the Niger Delta region of the country and promote the physical development of the Niger Delta region.
He said since its inauguration, the Ministry of Niger Delta had executed fundamental and important humanitarian intervention projects across the region.
He said part of the fund available for use by the commission was money recovered on its behalf by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
He said the money was given to the commission to ease the implementation and its financial obligations.
He said the federal government sent a special request mandating the Ministry of Niger Delta to jointly finance an intervention and humanitarian programme of sums running into several billions of Naira.
This, according to him, is by using the money recovered by the EFCC without budgetary provision, adding that the NDDC budget estimates for 2021, 2022 and 2023 were before the House for legislative approval.
The lawmaker said he was worried that such requests for intervention and humanitarian proposals by the federal government without requisite financial appropriation and approval by the House were illegal and a breach of the Appropriation Act.
The House, therefore, mandated the NDDC to halt the release of N15 billion counterpart funding requested by the federal government.
The House said this should be pending the approval of the commission’s budget by the honourable legislature.
The House also mandated the committee on NDDC to scrutinise such requests made by the federal government and report back within two weeks.