The House of Representatives on Thursday tasked the Niger Delta Development Commission on execution of critical and impactful projects for the people of the region.
The chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta, Olubunmi Tunji Ojo and his members, gave the charge when the NDDC presented the consolidated N2.28trn budget proposal for 2021-2023.
Managing Director, NDDC, Samuel Ogbukwu, said an aggregate expenditure of N485.7bn was proposed for the commission in 2021, N928.2bn in 2022 and N876bn in 2023.
Details of the proposed budget estimates indicated that N28.2bn was for personnel expenditure in 2021; and N34.2bn for 2022 and 2023.
Ogbukwu said the increase was to reflect the new staff strength as well as outstanding promotion arrears owed to staff and those due to be promoted.
“We shall sustain our efforts in managing our overhead costs. Accordingly, Overhead costs are projected at N14.5bn for 2021 and N16.5bn.
“The House of Representatives has given us the needed cooperation. We know the task was huge, we met a lot of dysfunctional situation in the commission and we’ve tried to correct a few especially internal organisation.
“It makes no sense to blame the past but we have to pick up from where we met the situation and improve on the successes of our predecessor and correct their mistakes,” he said.
The committee’s chairman said, “When we need to stand against you, we will and when we need to cooperate with you, we will not hesitate. The overall good of the region is our priority.
“We will not hesitate to activate the law needed to stop misuse of resources and abuse of power, we have waited four years to constitute this board”.
It could be recalled that the National Assembly had withheld the budget of the NDDC for the three years that the commission had been without a governing board.
The federal government had, in January, inaugurated the NDDC governing board with Lauretta Onochie as its chairman and Samuel Ogbukwu as Managing Director.