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Reps disagree with Senate, pass bill to include Anambra in NDDC

The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill to include Anambra State in the newly constituted Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.…

The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill to include Anambra State in the newly constituted Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.

The bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for inclusion of Anambra State as an Oil Producing State and for Related Matters (HBs. 154 & 857)” was sponsored by Rep. Paschal Agbodike and Rep. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi.

Presenting the lead debate on the bill at the plenary on Thursday, Ozodinobi said, oil had been found and was being exploited in Anambra State, adding that Anambra had been receiving 13% derivation as an oil producing state while its name was not mentioned in the NDDC Act.

He noted that, since the state faced the same ecological problems especially land degradation like the Niger Delta oil producing states, its interest should no longer be tangential in the Act.

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According to him, while the Act spelt out states to be considered within its purview, it was merely tangential in providing for the interests of other states where oil can be found in the future which are not necessarily within the Niger Delta region.

Ozodinobi said, “Ecological problems and environmental degradation often attend oil exploitation: and (2) certain offices/appointments in NDDC Act to reflect Anambra State, to remove any ambiguity, bring clarity and forestall future restiveness which may be encouraged by thebpresent state of the Act.

“Again, attainment of certain offices in the Commission is on a rotation basis. Section 4 of the Act specifically listed Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers as states amongst which the Chairmanship of the Commission shall rotate.

“Without clear provision for the name ‘Anambra State’ in the Act, there certainly will be rancour when it is the turn of Anambra State, because of the absence of clear-cut provision in the Act”.

The bill was passed for second reading after a voice vote that supported its passage.

However, recall that a similar bill was rejected at the Senate earlier on Wednesday.

It was rejected after it was brought on the floor by Senator Tony Nwoye who in his lead debate argued that Anambra State as an oil-producing state deserved to have membership in the NDDC.

However, senators who argued against the bill said, states like Kogi and Lagos that have oil were also not covered by the NDDC.

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