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Senate probes NDDC budgets over alleged unauthorised expenditure

Senate has begun probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC over alleged unauthorised spending by Niger- Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for 2021 and 2022 budget estimates. Consequently, the Senate constituted an  ad hoc committee to investigate alleged unauthorized  spending by NDDC for  2021 and 2022 budget estimates. Resolution of the Senate was sequel to  a motion by Senator Adamu Aliero who raised the alarm of  unauthorised   spending by the  NDDC on its  2021,2022 and 2023 budgets estimates. The Senate stood down the consideration of report of 2023 budgets estimates of the commission.

The motion and  objection raised by Aliero against the  consideration of the budgets was after  reports on  three budget estimates of NDDC was presented by the Committee Chairman on Niger Delta  Senator Amos  Bulus, APC, Gombe South. Aliero told his colleagues that it was a breach of the constitution by NDDC to engage in expenditure on the budget estimates without approval by the National Assembly. Other Senators who raised concerns over the consideration of the budgets  were Senators Seriake  Dickson, PDP, Bayelsa West and Olamilekan Adeola,  For Adeola, there  was an urgent need  to carefully look  at the 2023 budget estimates of  NDDC as  clarifications and further information   was  required on figures presented in the budget.

Also in his remarks, Senator Degi Biobarakuma, urged the Senate to consider the 2023 budget as the budget estimate of the Commission was presented before the National Assembly on time. In his remarks, the President of Senate, Senate Ahmad Lawan who noted that   there was no  authorised expenditure from 2021 and 2022  budgets of the commission, said, “We are faced with situation where expenditure  was  done probably for more than  six months or probably 80  per cent of the expenditure has been done and we need to know what has happened.

” He said the term of reference of the  hoc  committee was to investigate the financial activities of NDDC in the 2021 and 2022 budget estimates and report back in one week. Consequently, the Senate stood down the  consideration of the 2023 budget of the NDDC for further information and clarification on the figures contained in the budget  and set up  an ad hoc committee to investigate alleged  unauthorised  financial activities of NDDC for 2021 and 2022 budget estimates. The Committee, which has Senator Yusuf Yusuf (APC-Taraba Central as Chairman, was given one week to turn in  its report. Other members of the committee are  Senators Seriake  Dickson, Uche Ekwunife, Abdullahi Yahaya, Saidu Alkali, Adetumbi Olubunmi and Sadiq Sulaiman.

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