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Reps pledge rejig of NDDC, lament $750m yearly loss to gas flares

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House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), yesterday, assured that the commission will be reorganised to ensure that it delivers on its mandates to the Niger Delta people.

Its Chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the committee would continue to provide necessary legislative support to ensure physical and developmental growth of the Niger Delta region.

In a statement issued yesterday to assess the commission’s performance on projects, Tunji-Ojo said the Committee, NDDC management and other stakeholders were working out ways of resolving issues of abandoned projects in the commission.

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He said the review and implementation of the Niger Delta Master Plan was overdue, saying, it was important for stakeholders to review and show greater commitment to the master plan for its effective implementation.

The lawmaker also canvassed comprehensive amendment of the NDDC Act to rework its activities, adding: “I suggest that only a sub-section of the NDDC Act should be amended to avoid public queries and make the exercise to meet global best practices and ensure effectiveness in service delivery.”

Sole Administrator of NDDC, Effiong Okon Akwa, backed the committee’s position that only contractors with capacity should be engaged to execute contracts for the interventionist agency.

ALSO, Chairman, House Committee on Gas, Nicholas Mutu, has lamented the loss of over $750m yearly revenue to gas flaring in the country.

Mutu, who spoke at the public hearing on the need to end gas flaring in Nigeria and harness associated gas, organized by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Gas Resources, Environment and Climate Change, cited current PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates to justify his assertion.

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Minister of the Environment, Mohammed Abubakar, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Abbas Suleiman, Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and other stakeholders in the sector attended the hearing.

He lamented that it was unfortunate that government efforts to stop gas flaring have been inadequate and ineffective since 1979 when the country made the first attempt to address the challenge of gas flaring.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, acknowledged that the country was being deprived of the economic benefits of its gas resources.

Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Onofiok Luke, said the lower legislative chamber would do everything possible to change the narrative through the enactment of bills and exercise of its oversight functions, as they pledged their commitment to end gas flaring by2025.

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NDDCOlubunmi Tunji-Ojo
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