Senate approves 2021, 2022 NDDC budgets 

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The Senate Tuesday approved the sum of N1,413,991,634,495.65 as 2021 and 2022 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The passage of the budgets followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Adhoc Committee on 2021 and 2022 budget estimates of NDDC at plenary.

Of the amount, the sum of N485,794,575,131 is for the 2021 fiscal year of the agency, while N928,297,049,364.65 is for the 2022 Appropriation of the agency.

The Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Senator Yusuf Yusuf (APC – Taraba Central), in his presentation, observed that details of revenue and expenditures of 2021, 2022 and 1st quarter of 2023 were not provided as requested for the committee’s thorough scrutiny, “thus it could not be well ascertained if the expenditures incurred duly follow the Financial Regulations and confines within the bidding thresholds.”

He further noted that there was a trust deficit between the NDDC Board and management “which has on the one hand caused the management to ignore board’s decisions, and on the other rendered the Board less efficient to the extent of not being able to compel the management to follow due process, or impose sanctions where necessary.”

Some of the recommendations of the committee approved by the Senate include: “That the Senate mandates its committee on Niger Delta Affairs to wade in and resolve the obvious trust deficit between the NDDC Board and its management to ensure that the commission is legally compliant in all processes and focus on achieving its mandate.

“That the Adhoc committee notes that without approval and regularising the 2021 and 2022 budget estimates, the commission cannot operate the already approved Appropriation of the 2023 budget estimates as required by the provisions of the Public Procurement Act requiring the approval and performance of the previous years.

“That in view of NDDC not meeting its contractual obligations which are liable to preponderance of litigation and considering the fate of about 40 million people in Niger Delta region, the Adhoc Committee hereby urges that the Senate do consider and approve the 2021 and 2022 budget proposals of the Niger Delta Development Commission as recommended by the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, earlier considered at the plenary and referred to this Adhoc Committee to investigate, and for further legislative action…”