Politics

Intervention Agency owes NDDC N2 trn – MD tells HoR

NDDC

By Tom Okpe

The Ministry of Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) Managing Director, Dr Sam Ogbuku, has said the interventions agency is owed over N2 trillion.

Ogbuku made this assertion, while meeting with the House of Representatives’ Committee on NDDC, Chaired by Rep Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake.

The MD said the sum, was the accumulation of 15 percent allocation of the nine States that make up the region, due to the Commission since 2000 but has never been remitted.

He also lamented that despite passing of the 2021, 2022 and 2023 budgets of the Commission, they were yet to get the funds.

“I want to raise an important issue. When we talk about funding. The NDDC Act says the monthly allocation from the Federal Government is 15 percent of the allocation of nine States of the Niger Delta.

“But, I can assure you that since inception of the NDDC, it has not gotten that allocation. The Federal Government only budgets what it wants to give to NDDC for that year and they give it that year.

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“If you look at the 15 percent, we are not getting it, even with the removal of fuel subsidy and increment of States allocation, NDDC is still where it is.

“These are issues we want you to help, resolve and we have done our calculation that from 2000 till date, we can say we are being owed over N2 trillion from what is supposed to be due NDDC.”

Ogbuku, who assumed office in acting capacity in January this year, noted that despite fast-tracking the three-year budget of the Commission, nothing still came the way of the Commission.

“We also came in at a point where NDDC never had a budget for 2021, 2022 and 2023. These budgets were before the National Assembly and we had to fast track the passage of those budgets and those budgets were eventually passed in April this year.

“However, since the budget was passed, it has not been handed over to us. We would pray and plead with you to ensure that as fast as possible, you facilitate the process for us to have the budget because the budget year is already coming to an end,” he said.

He also said due to the huge debt burden of the Commission, which was due to a malfunctioning of the system, they had to launch a public private partnership, (PPP) arrangement in April this year, where private and public entities can also fund projects in the NDDC.

Chairman of the NDDC Board, Chiedu Ebie, assured that they would maintain the best of relationships with the Committee and National Assembly.

He also promised that they would work as a team to ensure, narrative of the Commission is changed for the better.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep Erhiatake, promised to look into the issues raised by the Commission, with a view to addressing them.

She said the committee wants to be able to work with the Board to achieve the goal of changing the narrative of Niger Delta and the Commission to improve lives and conditions of the people.

She said every member of the committee is committed and ready to carry out their mandate effectively.

“It is very important we create a platform for synergy in implementation of these policies and programmes for the general benefit of Nigerians, especially the people of the Niger Delta.

“I assure you that this committee is willing and ready to partner with you, to make sure that the dividends of democracy are brought to the region and narratives that had been set by the previous board are changed for the better.

“On this note, I want to seek your cooperation as a board and to ensure that every information we get from you is what we can work with, as a committee and that everything we do henceforth is in the discharge of our duties to our people.

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