At last, NDDC budgets land in N’Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent both the 2019 and 2020 budget proposals of the Niger Delta Development Commission to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

The budget of the intervention agency is usually presented to the federal parliament in July of every year.

A source within the Senate Committee on the NDDC, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Friday, had explained that the agency’s 2019 budget proposal was supposed to have been presented to the National Assembly.

He said the fiscal document should have been processed and approved before July 31, 2019 when the commission’s 2018 budget expired.

The source had explained that the power play among forces within the agency over the current interim management committee and those supporting the inauguration of the new board was causing the delay in the budget submission.

The President in the covering letter dated Nov 21 and received by the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, explained that he had sent the 2019 and 2020 budget estimates of the agency for the approval of the federal lawmakers.

The letter, sighted by our correspondent read, “Submission of 2019 and 2020 budget estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

“Pursuant to Section 18(1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act, I forward herewith, the 2019 and 2020 budget estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission, for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.

“While I trust that the Senate will consider this request in the usual expeditious manner, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

The expired 2018 budget of N346. 5bn of the agency had N2.883bn as capital expenditure, while N311.371bn was approved for development projects.

The sum of N19.521bn was for personnel cost, while N12. 737bn was for overhead expenditure.

Similarly, in 2017, the NDDC got a total of N364bn as its annual budget out of which N329.850bn was approved for capital projects.

Details of the NDDC 2019 and 2020 budgets of the agency would be unveiled by the presiding officers of the National Assembly at plenary on Tuesday (Today).

Buhari did not include the budget size of the agency’s 2019 and 2020 estimates in his covering letter.

Written by Sunday Aborisade, Abuja, published on Punch Newspapers