N’Assembly Faults Discrepancies in 2019 Budget of NDDC

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* Queries missing N143bn

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The National Assembly yesterday faulted the 2019 budget review of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Niger Delta Affairs has therefore asked the Interim Management Committee of the Commission for detailed explanation over the alleged N143billion missing from the 2019 budget of the commission.

The committee gave the directive during the budget defence session the National Assembly Joint Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, had with NDDC IMC led by the Acting Managing Director, Professor Daniel Pondei.

Pondei had in his presentation before the committee led by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, submitted that the Commission received N305.5billion as revenue in the 2019 fiscal year and spent N122billion from the amount received with the balance of N183.2billion.

He said: “In compliance with the provision of the 2019 Appropriation Act, we implemented the 2019 capital budget till May 31.

On the expenditure side, 2019 budget implementation was hindered by the delay in its approval and release coupled with the COVID- 19 global pandemic.

Only recurrent expenditure which runs from January 1to December 31, 2019 was implemented substantially”.

However, Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo however faulted the 2019 budget report of the commission as he disclosed that the report submitted to the joint Committee only revealed N40 billion.

He queried the Managing Director of the Commission on discrepancies observed in the 2019 budget report presentation to which Pondei quickly responded by requesting for the withdrawal of 2019 budget details in order to address the issue of discrepancies of N143billion raised by the federal lawmaker.

The request however angered other members of the committee who were later pacified by Senator Nwaoboshi before yielding to the request of NDDC boss and later adjourned the budget presentation till next Tuesday.