The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari has sent the 2019/2020 budget for the Nigerian Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the national assembly for passage.
Buhari presented the 2019 and 2020 appropriations bills of the agency to both the senate and house of representatives in separate letters read during the plenary session on Tuesday.
The letter did not state the estimates of the budget which comes about four months after that of the 2018 fiscal year-end.
Buhari said the delay was as a result of the crisis concerning the inauguration of a new governing board of the agency.
“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, ” the letter reads.
“While hoping that the Senate will consider this request in the usual expeditious manner, please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration,” he added.
Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senate minority leader, spoke of the need for the executive to swear in the agency’s board to ensure a speedy passage of the budget.
Abaribe 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.
“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 stated.
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 urge the executive to do “the next logical thing” by inaugurating the NDDC board.