June 11, 2024

NDDC proposes N1.911trn as 2024 budget

NDDC proposes N1.911trn as 2024 budget


…To spend N100bn on debt payments

By Henry Umoru

Six months to the end of the fiscal year, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has proposed N1.911 trillion as its 2024 aggregate expenditure, even as it said it is was working towards completing some ongoing projects in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive.

Presenting the NDDC aggregate expenditure of N1.911 trillion tagged “Budget of Renewed Hope Agenda” before the Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong-led Senate Committee on NDDC, Managing Director/CEO of the commission, Samuel Ogbuku, said the proposed revenue brought forward stands at  N12,000,000,000;  arrears owed by the Federal Government and recoveries by Federal Government agencies stand as  N170,000,000,000 and borrowings is N1,000,000,000.

Further breakdown by Ogbuku shows that part of the proposed revenue will be Federal Government contribution, which is put at N324,800,000,000; Ecological Fund is  N25,000,000,000; Oil companies contributions will be  N375,000,000,000 and internally realised income is  N5,000,000,000.

Giving a breakdown of the agency’s proposed expenditure, the Managing Director said personnel is N38,545,349 193; overhead is N29,246,506,753; internal capital is put at N8.785, 4,31; legacy projects funded through borrowing is  N1,000,000,000.000 and projects (development) is  N835,227,569,924.

He  told the senators that his administration was committed to payment of legacy debts because they are for the welfare of the people in Niger Delta and for this N100 billion has been earmarked to begin payment of legacy debts, adding that in 10 years time, the commission would have offset the legacy debts.

Ogbuku said: “To also manage our indebtedness, because our indebtedness is not only towards paying contractors, it also gives us credibility in the budget due to the partnerships we tend going into. For the purpose of compliance, international organisations, they want to see your process of repayment of your debt.

“It is based on that we made a provision for payment of legacy debt in the budget. What we have there is about a N100 billion, which we believe if we phase out this, maybe in the next 10 years, we should have been able to pay off most of all these legacy debts.

“Some of these debts are even 20 years old. Some of them are 15 years old, but they are not debts you can pay in one year. So we just want to face them within a period of may be 10 years. That’s why we made that estimate provision.

“But I think we are here before you. Appropriation is in your hands. It is left for you and us to agree. If that is enough or if it is too much, we can all manage it together. But we can all work together to ensure that our indebtedness is reduced and it is well managed.

“We are very committed in repayment of our debts because most of the people that did these jobs are people from the region. So we cannot also have a commission that also wants to increase our people, but the commission should rather be able to bring happiness, joy to the people of the Niger Delta, and we are committed to that.”

On the performance of 2023 Budget, Ogbuku said, “aggregate revenue of N876 billion was projected to fund the 2023 budget “Budget of Rewind to Rebirth. This comprises overhead costs of N17.4 billion, personnel cost of N134.2 billion, Internal capital cost of N83,7 billion and capital cost of N820.5 billion.

“As of April 30, 2024, the commission’s actual aggregate revenue inflow was N683.2 billion, approximately 78 per cent of the targeted N876 billion. This comprises N146.4 billion representing (122 percent) from the Federal Government and N394.5 billion representing (141 percent) from Oil and gas companies. We had a carry forward of N105 billion from 2023 representing (2117 percent).

“Despite the challenges, we continue to meet our obligations. Please find attached to our submission the budget performance report and budget implementation report, with detailed payments, percentage of work done and jobs awarded during the period.”

Speaking further on the 2024 budget,  he said: “In the area of infrastructure, we came up with  ‘Operation Light Up Niger Delta region.’ This has seen a reasonable number of the communities being lit up using solar powered street lights, which have boosted the economic activities of communities at night.

“In a response to the frequent flooding challenges faced by Niger Deltans. We have commenced construction of multipurpose emergency shelter with a capacity of over 1000 accommodations, designed to serve as a refuge during flood emergencies. The facility includes essential amenities such as a school, hospital, cafeteria, police post, and recreation centre.”

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