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Reps okay N346 billion budget for NDDC, vow tighter oversight

By Adamu Abuh and Juliet Akoje, Abuja
05 March 2020   |   4:26 am
The House of Representatives yesterday approved N346.388 billion budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2019 financial year ending May 31, 2020.

House of Representatives. Photo: TWITTER/HOUSENGR

Move for the commission to develop S’South
• Allege fraud in Anambra-Imo basin authority
• Task NUC, varsities on curriculum review for job needs

The House of Representatives yesterday approved N346.388 billion budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2019 financial year ending May 31, 2020.

Of the amount, N22.338 billion is for personnel cost, N13.466 billion goes for overheads while capital expenditure gets N4.083 billion

The sum of N306.500 billion is for development projects in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The lower legislative chamber sanctioned the appropriation bill after the consideration of the report of its Committee on Supply chaired by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, at plenary.

Earlier, chairman of the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, had urged the Green Chamber to consider the panel’s report regarding the interventionist agency’s Statutory Revenue Fund to the tune of N346,388,900.

After the clause-by-clause consideration of sub-headings as read by the speaker, the budget was unanimously okayed after a motion to that effect by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Doguwa.

Addressing newsmen shortly, Tunji-Ojo enthused that with the approval, things would start taking shape in the Niger Delta region.

Besides, the chamber has taken a significant step at establishing the South-South Development Commission by ensuring that the bill sponsored by Awaji-Inombek Abiante scaled second reading at plenary presided over Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase.

The proposed commission is to receive and manage funds from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and other sources, including donations, grants, and aid for the integration, development, resolution of infrastructure deficits, militancy, communal crises as well as tackle ecological and environmental problems confronting the oil-rich region.

Abiante (Rivers: PDP) while, leading debate on the bill, argued that the South-South geopolitical zone deserved a developmental commission like every other region in the country.

He paid glowing tributes to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, who is 1993, created the six geopolitical zones to engender equity in the distribution of the nation’s economic, political and educational resources.

The lawmaker noted: “As of today, the North East Development Commission is in place and functioning; a bill for the establishment of the South West Development Commission has scaled second reading, while the bills for the establishment of other zonal development commissions are also in the works.”

Moreover, the chamber’s Committee on Public Accounts yesterday unveiled alleged gross violations and constitutional breach through failure to remit audited accounts for multiple years by the Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority.

It had invited past chief executives of the organisation to account for 2014 through 2019.

The lawmakers however discovered that most of the managing directors never deemed it necessary to send audited reports to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

Also yesterday, the House urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to collaborate with tertiary institutions in reviewing the curriculum for graduates to effectively adapt to workplaces and national development.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the “Need to review the curriculum of tertiary institutions to reflect job needs and serve as an instrument for achieving national development” moved by Kabiru Amadu.