Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
The Senate yesterday passed a budget of N299,526,463,156.12 for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2015 fiscal year. This is even as the sum of N271,089,998,023.00 was approved as expenditure for project developments in nine states and head office. A breakdown of the budget shows that the sum of N16,133,377,133.00 is earmarked for personnel expenditure, N10,423,319,000.00 earmarked for overhead expenditure, and N1,879,769,000.12 mapped out for capital expenditure (internal).
The Senate Committee on Niger Delta disclosed that the budget will be financed from a projected revenue of N300,100,000,000.00. The UNION reports that the above sum is drawn from the revenue brought forward of N10,000,000,000.00; and Federal Government contribution of N70,000,000,000.00; Federal Government contribution from unpaid arrears of N20,000,000,000.00. Others are the oil companies contribution (and others) of N160,000,000,000.00; ecological funds of N40,000,000,000.00; and other internally realised income of N100,000,000.00. The Committee Chairman, Senator James Manager, while presenting the Budget before the Senate for its approval, disclosed the Committee’s considerations.
“The Committee considered the proposals, noted that the non-profit expenditure (personnel, overheads and internal capital) totalling N28,436,465,133.12 represents 9.5 percent of the total proposed budget for the year as against 8.43 percent in 2004. The increase in personnel provision is due to envisaged increase in the staff strength of the Commission and promotion. “The projects development expenditure as proposed is N271,089,998,023.00. This represents 90.5 percent of the total proposed budget for the year as against 91.46 percent in 2004. “It is pertinent to mention that due to the peculiar nature of the NDDC Budget, the Committee finds that it is necessary to separate the capital budget meant for use internally by the Commission from capital budget meant for project development,” Manager added.
In its recommendations, the Committee advised that the Budget should be operative with effect from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. It also advised the Senate “to relentlessly pursue the proper calculation and release of 15 percent statutory contribution of the Federal Government for the funding of NDDC; to assist in enforcing the payment of the statutory 50 percent of monies due to NDDC member states from the ecological fund with a view to enhancing the Commission’s revenue base; and to direct the management of NDDC to avoid carrying out any virement in the approved Budget without a recourse to the National Assembly”.