Senate approves N299.52b 2015 NDDC budget

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ABUJA – The Senate on Thursday passed N299.52 budget for the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2015.
The budget is made up of N271.09 billion for projects development expenditure; N16.13 billion, personnel expenditure; N10.42 billion, overhead expenditure and N1.88 billion for capital expenditure.
approved by a unanimous vote of the senators after it was called for by the Deputy of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the session.
Ekweremadu urged the lawmakers, especially members of the Niger Delta Committee of the Senate, not to rest on its oars in ensuring implementation of the budget.
He added that full implementation of the budget would be of “immense benefit to our brothers and sisters who have been bearing the brunt of oil production in this country.
“I believe that what we have done now by passing the estimate for the Niger Delta Development Commission amounts to just 50 per cent of our legislative responsibility to the oil producing community and states.
“The remaining 50 per cent lies in our oversight. So, I will enjoin the committee not to rest on its oars.’’
Presenting the budget for approval earlier, the Committee on Niger Delta, said it would be financed projected N300.1 billion revenue drawn from N160 billion oil companies’’ contributions and N70 billion from Federal .
Others sources, according to Chairman of the committee, James Manager, are N40 billion ecological funds, N20 billion unpaid arrears by the Federal government, N10 billion revenue brought forward and N100 million internally generated revenue.
Manager said that the N271.09 billion approved as project development expenditure represented N90.5 per cent of the total budget as against 91.46 per cent approved in 2014.
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He said that non-project expenditure in the budget comprised personnel, overheads and the internal capital totaling N28.4 billion, adding that it represented 9.5 per cent of total budget as against 8.43 per cent in 2014.
“It is pertinent to mention that due to the peculiar nature of the NDDC budget, the committee found that it is necessary to separate the capital budgets.
“We found that it is vital to separate capital budget meant for use internally by the commission from capital budget meant for project development,” he said.
He said the budget would be operative from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2015.
Manager said that it was the committee’s view that the Senate should relentlessly pursue proper calculation and release of 15 per cent statutory contribution of the Federal Government for funding the commission.
“The committee recommended the for Senate to assist in enforcing payment of the statutory 50 per cent of monies meant for NDDC member states from the ecological fund.
“This is with a view to enhancing the commission’s revenue base,’’ he said. (NAN)
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