The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Sam Ogbuku, has informed the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC that the agency is owed over N2 trillion.
He said the amount represents 15% of the allocation of the nine states that make up the Niger Delta region since 2000 which has never been paid.
Ogbuku noted that despite passing the budgets for 2021, 2022 and 2023, NDDC is yet to receive funds. He therefore urged the lawmakers to help resolve the issues.
Ogbuku said due to the huge debt being owed the agency, the NDDC is weighed down and its operations hampered.
He added, “The NDDC Act says the monthly allocation from the federal government is 15 per cent of the allocation of nine states of the Niger Delta.
“But I can assure you that since the inception of NDDC, it has not gotten that. The federal government only budgets what it wants to give to NDDC for that year and they give it that year.
“We also came in at a point where NDDC never had a budget for 2021, 2022 and 2023. These budgets were before the National Assembly and we had to fast track passage of those budgets and those budgets were eventually passed in April this year”.
On his part, the Chairman of NDDC Board, Chiedu Ebie assured the lawmakers that they would maintain good relationships with them and work together as a team towards positively changing narratives about the commission.
In her remark, Chairman of the Committee, Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake (PDP, Delta) promised to look into the issues raised by the commission with a view to addressing them.
She said, “It is very important we create a platform for synergy in implementation of these policies and programmes for the general benefit of Nigerians especially people of Niger Delta.”