*Petitions presidency, the Senate
08 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt —The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has written to the presidency and the Senate seeking the payment of N1.8 trillion unpaid statutory allocations and ecological funds for the year 2000 to 2015.
According to the letter, the Commission the sum of N1,797,713,966,652.29 was for unpaid statutory allocations while N45,091,075,401.66 was for unpaid ecological funds.
Mr. Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NDDC urged the President and the Senate to prevail upon the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to commence the full implementation of the funding provisions of the NDDC Act 2000, section 14(2)(a) & (c).
While speaking before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Ekere said the recent order by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to NDDC contractors to return to the site had caused the contractors to besiege his office to demand their contract payments.
Also speaking before the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi committee, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, noted that the funding of the commission was based on law.
Udoma noted that like other agencies of government, there is a budgetary allocation for the NDDC, adding, however, that there was the challenge of releases.
He said that since the claims were based on the Act establishing the NDDC, outstanding payments due to the Commission should be paid to it.
Senator Nwaoboshi urged the Federal Government to urgently commence repayment of the money in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.
“Since taking over management of the organisation on the 4th November 2016, we have carried out a careful diagnostic review of the operations and the results show the Commission has 8,558 projects in its portfolio with about N123 trillion of contingent liabilities on the balance sheet.
“The Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan has not been properly implemented, as such there has been no systemic or sustainable development of the region and this is reflected in the low quality of infrastructure deliverables that decay rapidly, poor socio-economic development of the people, and pipeline vandalism which further exacerbates our funding challenges.
“Our findings suggest that at the root of these issues is the poor governance of the institution due to weak administrative controls and poor corporate culture,” the letter read in part.