OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the sum of N346.4 billion as budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the year 2019.
The budget is for the financial year ending on 31 May, 2020.
A breakdown of the budget shows that N1. 29 billion was earmarked for payments to aides of board members despite the fact that the commission has been run without a board for months now. The NDDC has a statutory board of 17 members but is currently run by an interim management committee.
The budget report was presented on the floor of the House for consideration during plenary by the chairman of the NDDC Committee, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.
After consideration, the House approved for “the statutory revenue fund of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the total sum of N346,388,900,000.00 (three hundred and forty-six billion, three hundred and eighty-eight million, nine hundred thousand naira only).
Of the approved amount, the sum of N22,338,190,000 (twenty-two billion, three hundred and thirty-eight million, one hundred and ninety thousand naira) only is for personnel expenditure.
The sum of N13, 466, 810, 000 (thirteen billion, four hundred and sixty-six million, eight hundred and ten thousand naira) only is for overhead expenditure.
Internal capital expenditure has the sum of N4,083,000,000 (four billion and eighty-three million naira) only approved while N306, 500, 900, 000 (three hundred and six billion, five hundred million, nine hundred thousand naira) only is for development projects.
Addressing the media shortly after the approval of the budget, chairman of the committee, Mr. Tunji-Ojo said that with the approval of the budget by the prliament, things would start taking shape in the Niger Delta region.
The lawmaker assured that the committee under his watch through oversight would give the commission close marking to ensure judicious disbursement and utilization of the funds.
According to him, “NDDC, has witnessed many setbacks; the region is suffering despite billions of naira budgeted for its development. Now that the commission has a budget to work with, the narration is going to change for good; it is no longer going to be business as usual.”