The House of Representatives has directed the Niger Delta Development Commission to clear its liabilities through the implementation of its 2019 budget.
The House of Representatives Committee on NDDC issued the directive in Abuja on Tuesday when the interim management of the commission, led by the acting Managing Director, Mrs Joy Nunieh, appeared before the lawmakers to defend the budget proposed for 2019.
The committee, at the last sitting, had vowed not to consider the 2020 budget proposed by NDDC until the 2019 budget was presented and considered.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, accused the commission of failing to implement its 2019 budget due to widespread infractions and sharp practices by the former management.
Tunji-Ojo stated that as part of the measures towards ensuring implementation of NDDC’s 2019 budget, the commission must present the list of all contractors it owed. He also stated that payment of claims would only be made after thorough verification and approval by the committee.
The lawmaker also stated that the NDDC must recover the over N1 trillion owed it by various entities to offset the commission’s liabilities.
Tunji-Ojo noted that when the recommendations by the committee are approved by the House, all ongoing projects in the NNDC’s 2019 budget would be rolled over to 2020, which he said would be considered after the approval.
The committee’s chairman lamented that the commission was 14 months behind schedule in implementing 2019 budget, describing it as a huge drawback.
In her presentation, Nunieh said a total sum of N346,513,046,220 was proposed by the NDDC as budget for 2019 based on the assumption of an improved revenue inflow.
She said as of December 2018, the aggregate revenue inflow was N291.47bn.