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Abaribe Protests as Buhari Submits NDDC Budget to NASS

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Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe on Tuesday protested against continuous staying in office of interim Management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as President Muhammadu Buhari finally sent the 2019/2020 budget for the Commission to the national assembly for passage.

Abaribe spoke of the need for the executive to swear in the agency’s board to ensure a speedy passage of the budget.

He said failure to swear in members of the board, already confirmed by the senate, may threaten early consideration and quick passage of the 2019/2020 budget of the NDDC.

He said,“Having regard to the fact that this senate has confirmed members of the board of the NDDC and they are yet to resume office, I fear that we may run into a problem of delayed budget again since nobody will come to defend this budget,” he said.

“This senate, having confirmed the board of the NDDC will not countenance any illegal contraption coming to represent NDDC.

“To prevent a late budget for NDDC that is helping Nigeria on revenue and development of the region, it will be better for us to prevent this issue from coming.”

Senate President Ahmad Lawan concurred with him and asked the executive to do “the next logical thing” by inaugurating the NDDC board.

“I believe that the executive arm of government will attend to that quickly so that we have the right people to defend the appropriation request of Mr. President,” Lawan said.

Earlier in letter read on the floor of the Senate, Buhari’s letter did not give the estimates of the budget which comes about four months after that of 2018 fiscal year ended.

The delay is said to be as a result of the crisis concerning the inauguration of a new governing board of the agency.

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 18(1) of the Nigerian Delta Development Commission Establishment Act, I forward herewith 2019/2020 budget estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.

“While hoping that the Senate will consider this request in the usual expeditious manner, please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

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