Senate raises NDDC budget by N44m

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The Senate has increased the budget of the Niger Delta Development Agency by N44m.

 

This addition moved the budget from N1,911,800,000,000 to N1,911,844,833,046.

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The Senate committee considered increases in personnel costs, overhead costs, and internal capital estimates, as well as adjustments in the revenue profile of the commission.

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It also considered the extra sum of

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N44.8m is the difference between the revenue projections proposed by the commission and the amount approved by the National Assembly

 

The Senate after that, reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2024 and consequently recommended the following as the expenditure profile:

 

“Personnel Expenditure is 38,545,349,193; Overhead Expenditure, 29,246,506,753; Internal Capital Expenditure,8,785,574,130; Development Projects 835,267,402,970; Legacy Critical Projects to be funded through Borrowings 1,000,000,000,000 all totalling N1,911,844,833,046.

 

“That the lifespan of the Year 2024 NDDC budget should elapse on 31st December 2024.”

 

The Commission had on Monday presented a total of N1.91tn budget before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.

 

The agency’s Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, said the budget was prepared to prioritise improvement in security, job creation, youth and women empowerment, social welfare, education and infrastructure, among others.

 

He said, “The proposed budget seeks to move the commission from transaction to transformation and was a product of participatory budgeting process that involved all the major stakeholders in the Niger Delta Region with the theme ‘Budget of Renewed Hope Agenda.’”

While passing the bill, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ekpenyong Asuquo, (PDP, Cross River South) submitted its report less than 12 hours after the agency defended its budget.

READ ALSO: Shell Nigeria, Partners Paid NDDC $142m in 2023- SPDC

 

 

Senator Solomon Adeola first picked holes in the report and queried how the budget performance of the agency for 2023 was not properly assessed before approving the 2024 budget in line with the legislative tradition.

 

He said it amounts to “process abuse for a proposal to be adopted without finding how the previous year’s budget was executed to justify a fresh proposal.”

 

“There is no mention of the performance of the 2023 budget, so on what is the proposal for 2024 predicated?”, Olamilekan said.

 

Reacting in the same vein, Senator Adamu Aliero explained that NDDC has proposed to borrow N1 trillion in the budget proposal which I think is not in the borrowing plan

 

He cautioned that NDDC is a child of necessity and must use the money appropriated to serve the interest of the people, adding that NDDC’s budget is more than that of two States put together, yet the impact has not been felt.

 

He said, “NDDC is a child of necessity and the money must be used in the interest of the people, even as its budget is more than two States and we have not seen much.”

 

In his contribution, Senator Adams Oshiomhole maintained that things have changed in the NDDC and explained that the NDDC could write to the Senate for borrowing after the budget has been passed into law, urging lawmakers not to “judge the NDDC by its dirty past.”

 

He recalled how the South-South governors called for a forensic audit of the accounts of the NDDC. “ Mr President, you recalled that we agreed that a forensic audit of NDDC be carried out. This was done and jobs done were paid and those not done were separated.”

 

Senator Seriake Dickson called for support of NDDC having gone past a forensic audit.

 

After contributions, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio called for a vote and the budget was passed into law.

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