Reps Urge NDDC To Avoid Sending N15 Billion To The FG
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been urged by the House of Representatives to postpone the delivery of N15 billion in counterpart money for federal government humanitarian intervention.
This came after Rep. Unyime Idem (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) adopted an urgent resolution of public concern on the House floor in Abuja on Thursday.
In his proposal, he claimed that the Ministry of the Niger Delta had the responsibility of attending to the country’s Niger Delta region’s intervention and humanitarian requirements as well as fostering the region’s physical development.
He said that the Ministry of the Niger Delta had carried out vital and significant humanitarian intervention programs all over the region since its founding.
He said that money recovered on its behalf by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission made up a portion of the cash that the commission may spend (EFCC).
He said that the commission received the funds to lessen the implementation’s financial commitments.
According to him, the Ministry of the Niger Delta received a specific request from the federal government ordering it to co-finance an intervention and humanitarian program with funds totaling several billion Naira.
He added that the NDDC budget projections for 2021, 2022, and 2023 were in front of the House for legislative approval. He claims that this is done by using the money collected by the EFCC without budgetary allocation.
The member expressed concern that such federal government requests for intervention and humanitarian proposals—which lack the necessary budgetary appropriation and House approval—are unconstitutional and in violation of the Appropriations Act.
Thus, the House ordered the NDDC to stop disbursing the N15 billion in counterpart funding that the federal government had requested.
The House ruled that this should be postponed until the whole legislature’s ratification of the commission’s budget.
The committee on NDDC was also instructed by the House to examine such requests made by the federal government and submit a report within two weeks.