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NDDC Presents to Senate 2024 Budget

NDDC Presents to Senate 2024 Budget

Amidst the NDDC’s instability and indebtedness of over N1 trillion, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, having inaugurated a 16-member Budget committee on 30th November presented to the Federal House of Representatives Committee on NDDC the 2024 budget which as part of the budget of “Hope” which tends to cater for the development and sustainability of member states of the Niger Delta region.  Speaking of sustainability, the commission’s indebtedness has raised concerns about the accountability of public funds allocated so far to provide and ease the livelihood of citizens in the rural environs of the Niger Delta region.

The Niger Delta region encompasses nine member states located within the coastal southern Nigerian states, which includes: all six states from South-South geopolitical zone, one state (Ondo) from the South West geopolitical zone, and two states (Abia and Imo) from the South East geopolitical zone. Though tasked with an intervention to solve the peculiar and unique problems of the Niger Delta in terms of building road networks, tackling unemployment, and providing skills acquisitions and scholarships for youth in the region, the commission is unable to provide adequate data that supports the claims of projects done over the past 3 years of the new administration while the Managing Director claims to be because the NDDC hasn’t been graced with monthly allocations that ought to enable such provisions.

However, be that as it is, findings show that the Niger delta development commission statutory allocation for August 2019 is ₦5,932,918,627.42 but following the years 2021, 22, and 2023 the commission was not provided with any budget to complete tasked projects. Still, the MD put it before the Federal Reps Committee on NDDC to ensure that they work cooperatively to ensure the 2023 budget comes with that of 2024, as that will help in relieving the commission of its over N1 trillion indebtedness to contractors and make the impact of the commission well felt in the region.

It is also worthy of note that auditing is necessary to hold MDAs accountable. With the publicly accessible data available, the commission, after spending the 2019 budget of N5.9 billion as of February 22nd, has a balance of N5.2 billion with no indication of debt servicing, but the CEO of NDDC edges on getting bailed out by the Federal Government while presenting the 2024 budget.

The people of Niger Delta regions are not in the know where the 2021 and 2022 budget, which the Senate passed, though he claims to have canceled 1,500 contracts at the directives of the President while the white papers on forensic audit remain in the office of the Attorney General.

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