By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE Senate has approved a total sum of N1,413,991,634,495.65 as 2021 and 2022 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
According to what was approved yesterday by the Senate, 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 approval was sequel to the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Adhoc Committee on 2021 and 2022 budget estimates of NDDC chaired by Senator Yusuf Yusuf, APC, Taraba Central.
In his presentation , he 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.
According to him, 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.”
The Committee made some recommendations that were adopted by the Senate.
The report read, “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 regularizing 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.”