Motion sponsor argues that such requests for intervention and humanitarian proposals by the federal government without requisite financial appropriation and approval by the House amount to a breach of the Appropriation Act.
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The House of Representatives has mandated the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to halt the payment of N15 billion as counterpart funding requested by the federal government, pending the House’s approval of the Commission’s budget.
This directive followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance brought by Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom) at plenary on Thursday.
Leading the debate, Idem noted that the Ministry for Niger Delta Affairs was inaugurated and commissioned by the Presidency to attend to the intervention and humanitarian needs of the region and promote its physical development. He further acknowledged that since its inauguration, the Ministry has executed fundamental and important humanitarian intervention projects across the region.
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According to him: “Part of the fund available for use by NDDC is money recovered on its behalf by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and given to the Commission to ease the implementation and its financial obligations.
The Federal government sent a special request mandating the Ministry of Niger Delta to jointly finance an intervention and humanitarian programme of sums running into several Billions of Naira using the money recovered by the EFCC without budgetary provision.”
He further explained, “The NDDC Budget estimates for 2021, 2022 and 2023 is before the House for legislative approval.”
Unyime pointed out that such requests for intervention and humanitarian proposals by the federal government without requisite financial appropriation and approval by the House are illegal and a breach of the Appropriation Act.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on NDDC to scrutinise such requests made by the federal government and report back to the House within two weeks.