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Senate Passes 1.911 Trillion Naira Budget Allocation for Niger Delta Development Commission in 2024. By Mercy Adewunmi

Senate Passes 1.911 Trillion Naira Budget Allocation for Niger Delta Development Commission in 2024

Senator Asuguo Ekpenyong
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In a significant move towards promoting development and addressing critical issues in the Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Senate recently approved a budget allocation of 1.911 trillion Naira for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the fiscal year 2024. This decision followed the presentation of the report by the Senate Committee on NDDC, led by Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, which meticulously reviewed the proposed budget and outlined key areas of allocation and funding sources.

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According to the approved budget, the NDDC’s expenditures are slated to be funded through various means, including contributions from oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region, proceeds from the Ecological Fund, and substantial contributions from the Federal Government. Specifically, the NDDC has proposed to borrow one trillion Naira, with the Federal Government committing to contribute N324.8 billion, the Ecological Fund providing 25 billion Naira, and Oil Companies expected to contribute 375 billion Naira towards the developmental initiatives outlined in the budget.

During the deliberations, Senator Adamu Aliero raised concerns regarding the transparency and due process surrounding the NDDC’s intentions to borrow such a substantial amount of funds. This highlights the Senate’s commitment to ensuring that public funds are utilized responsibly and in the best interest of the people, particularly in regions like the Niger Delta that have historically faced socio-economic challenges and infrastructural deficits.

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While some lawmakers expressed reservations about the lack of tangible infrastructural development in the Niger Delta region despite significant past investments, Senators Adams Oshiomhole and Seriake Dickson came to the defense of the NDDC, emphasizing the transformative changes and reforms that have been implemented within the commission. They underscored the importance of not judging the NDDC solely on its past shortcomings but rather on its current efforts and commitment to delivering on its mandate effectively.

Following thorough consideration of the committee report, Senate President Godswill Akpabio called for a vote, which led to the budget’s official passage into law. This approval signifies a crucial step towards advancing development initiatives, enhancing socio-economic conditions, and addressing critical infrastructure needs in the Niger Delta region. It reflects the Senate’s recognition of the region’s significance in Nigeria’s economic landscape and underscores the government’s commitment to fostering sustainable development and growth in the area.

In conclusion, the approval of the 1.911 trillion Naira budget allocation for the NDDC in 2024 heralds a new chapter in the region’s developmental trajectory, signifying a renewed focus on addressing longstanding challenges and advancing inclusive growth in the Niger Delta. It serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to promoting equitable development and enhancing socio-economic conditions for the benefit of all stakeholders in the region and Nigeria as a whole.

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