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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Jonathan budgets N250bn for Niger Delta agency President Goodluck Jonathan

Seventeen days to end of the year, President Jonathan yesterday asked the House of Representatives to approve N249.5 billion as the 2011 budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This is coming a week after the National Assembly approved the president’s virement requests in which the Ministry of Niger Delta got additional N10 billion to spend during the fiscal year.

Earlier in the year, the Federal Government published lists of N883 billion contracts approved from March to August, out of which projects sited in the Niger Delta gulped a total of N760 billion. NDDC projects during that period were valued at N23.7 billion.

In a letter to Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, dated December 12, President Jonathan said the 2011 NDDC budget had an increase of 4.64 per cent over the N240.58 billion approved for the commission in 2010.

House Leader Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP, Oyo), who moved motion for the debate on the general principles of the budget, said N46.7 billion of the total amount was coming from allocation to the NDDC in the 2011 Federal budget, N95.4 billion as revenue brought forward, N109 billion as contributions from oil companies and N525 million from the commission’s internally generated revenue.

Akande-Adeola said capital expenditure would gulp N232.1 billion translating to 70 per cent of the budget, N7 billion would be spent on recurrent costs, N9.4 billion as personnel cost, while N877 million would go for non-capital projects.

The House leader said the budget presentation was delayed because of wrangling between management and board of the NDDC, and the non-availability of the cumulative three per cent contribution by major oil firms until recently.

“Better done late than never,” she added.

Before the debate began, Adeola-Akande sought the leave of the House to have some relevant rules suspended in order to take the debate immediately

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