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Senate Passes N1.911 trillion 2024 Budget For NDDC

Senate


This was approved despite the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio battling with absurdities by Senators who made contributions to the general principles of the motion.

This was done amid the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio battling with absurdities by Senators who made contributions to the general principles of the motion.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ekpenyong Asuquo, representing Cross River South Senatorial District, submitted its report less than 12 hours after the public hearing on the budget, where the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, appeared for the defence of the budget.

Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan first picked holes in the report and queried how the budget performance of the agency for 2023 was not properly assessed before approving the 2024 budget in line with the legislative tradition.

He said it amounts to process abuse for a proposal to be adopted without finding how the previous year’s budget was executed to justify a fresh proposal.

“There is no mention of the performance of the 2023 budget, so on what is the proposal for 2024 predicated?”, Olamilekan said.

Reacting in the same vein, Senator Adamu Aliero explained that NDDC has proposed to borrow N1 trillion in the budget proposal which I think is not in the borrowing plan.

He cautioned that NDDC is a child of necessity and must use the money appropriated to serve the interest of the people, adding that NDDC’s budget is more than that of two States put together, yet the impact has not been felt.

“NDDC is a child of necessity and the money must be used in the interest of the people, even as its budget is more than two States and we have not seen much.”

In his contribution, Senator Adams Oshiomhole maintained that things have changed in the NDDC and explained that the NDDC could write to the Senate for borrowing after the budget has been passed into law, urging lawmakers not to “judge the NDDC by its dirty past.”

He recalled how the South-South governors called for a forensic audit of the accounts of the NDDC. “ Mr President, you recalled that we agreed that a forensic audit of NDDC be carried out. This was done and jobs done were paid and those not done were separated.”

Senator Seriake Dickson called for support of NDDC having gone past a forensic audit.

After contributions, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio called for a vote and the budget was passed into law.