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1.9 Trillion NDDC 2024 Budget Estimates: Management Appears Before HoR Committee On Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC

Niger Delta Development Commission has presented its 2024 budget estimates of 1.9 trillion naira to the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC with the commitment that early approval would further fast-track socio-economic transformation and improve the standard of life and infrastructures in the Niger Delta region.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Chief (Dr) Samuel Ogbuku, while addressing the Committee which has Hon Erhiateke Ibori-Seun as Chairman, highlighted the success stories of the Commission with its last budget estimates, saying that the 2024 fiscal year would witness accelerated development with the support of critical stakeholders.

Ogbuku explained that in preparing the 2024 Budget, entitled “Budget of Renewed Hope”, the primary objective is to sustain a robust foundation for sustainable economic development and a greener future for the region.

He gave the summary expenditures to include, Personnel cost, 38.5 billion, Overhead cost, 29.2 billion, Internal Capital, 8.9 billion, Legacy Projects, 1 trillion, and Projects Development, 835 million, bringing the amount to 1.9 trillion naira.

The MD/GEO disclosed that the proposed budget will be funded through federal government contribution, oil companies’ contribution, ecological fund, arrears owed NDDC by the federal government and recoveries by federal government agencies, revenue brought forward, borrowings and internally realized income.

“Investing in critical infrastructure is a key component of our fiscal strategy under the 2024 Budget Proposals. The present Management re-navigating its process of intervention by adopting the Public-Private-Partnership model as a vehicle to drive sustainable development in the Niger Delta Region.

“To this end, we are in partnership with the Industrial Training Fund to gainfully engage the youths of the region to reduce crime and economic sabotage. We have strategically made provisions towards diversifying our source of funding as we intend to source an aggregate sum of One trillion naira to fund ongoing legacy projects of the Commission in 2024”, Ogbuku stated.

On fiscal reforms, he said “we shall introduce new performance management frameworks to regulate the overhead cost. Accordingly, only activities that are tied to measurable programmes will be approved. We have moved away from the previous line item budgeting system to sectoral allocation.

“Therefore, I will once again commend the 10th National Assembly’s firm commitment to stop the unnecessary circle of delayed annual budgets. I am confident that with our renewed partnership, the deliberations on the 2024 Budget shall be completed soon to pave the way for the 2025 budget as this present Management is poised to normalize the NDDC budget calendar.

Ogbuku restated the commitment of the Management of NDDC to deliver inclusive growth and enhance the welfare of the Niger Delta Region.

While seeking sustained support and collaboration of the federal Lawmakers, the NDDC Boss assured of the strong commitment of Management to deepen the relationship with the National Assembly.

Dr Ogbuku in his opening remarks, highlighted the gains and achievements of the 2023 budget of the Commission, saying that a lot of progress was recorded in the region and that much is being done to complete all ongoing projects embarked upon by the NDDC.

He said “It is my honour to be here today to render an account of what we have done and also present the Commission’s 2024 Budget Proposal to this Hallowed chamber.

“But before I proceed; I wish to express my profound appreciation to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu GCFR, under whose leadership I have been called to serve and also to the Supervising Minister of Niger Delta Development Engr Abubakar Momoh.

“It is a matter of recorded history that we have moved from being transactional to transformational, and transformation is practical. In this regard, we thought it has to be all-encompassing, from areas of youth training, areas of supporting our entrepreneurs, and areas of Infrastructure and development.

“In the area of our youth training, We came up with Project HOPE to put together a proper database of the Youths and Artisans of the Niger Delta Region. It will aid us in engaging these youths in their area of competence. Project HOPE is also an of­shoot of the Renewed HOPE of Mr President, as it made us lookout for opportunities on how we can gainfully engage the Youth of the region.

“In the area of infrastructure, we came up with “Operation Light Up Niger Delta Region”, this has seen a reasonable number of the communities being lit up using solar-powered street lights which have boosted the economic activities of the communities at night.

Continuing he stated, “Health is wealth, and good health remains at the core of human development. The NDDC through the free medical mission has provided health solutions to over two million Niger Deltans across communities in the Region and remains committed to working with relevant stakeholders to improve healthcare and all other critical sectors that impact positively on the overall development of the health and wellness of the people of the Region.

“In Education, we have awarded foreign scholarships to 750 individuals between 2023-2024 and provided educational grants to 84 individuals. Additionally, we are distributing 45,000 Ulesson tablets preloaded with Nigerian and WAEC syllabus to schools in the 9 States in the Niger Delta region”.

The MD/CEO told the Federal Lawmakers that a new dawn of progress and development is emerging under the present Management of the NDDC as standards and effectiveness are being redefined in driving positive change in the region.

Chairman, of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Hon Erhiateke Ibori-Seun, commended the Management Team team of the Commission for the comprehensive documentation and promised accelerated legislative action on the proposed budget.

Hon Ibori-Seun who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency in the Green Chamber, said the National Assembly is committed to transparency and improved wellbeing of the people of the Niger Delta region.

Flanked by other Members of the Committee, the Federal Lawmaker, charged the NDDC to remain focused and help Mr President to deliver his Renewed Hope mantra in the Niger Delta region.

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