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Lawmakers tell NDDC to halt release of funds to FG

The House of Representatives has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, to put on-hold the release of N15billion counterpart funding requested by the federal government, pending the approval of the commission’s budget by the House.

This was sequel to a motion by a member from Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Idem Uyime at plenary on Thursday.

The lawmaker stated that Federal government has sent a special request mandating the Ministry of Niger Delta to jointly finance an intervention and humanitarian programme running into several billions of Naira using the money recovered by the EFCC without budgetary provision.

This he said was despite the fact that the NDDC Budget estimates for 2021, 2022 and 2023 is still before the House waiting for legislative approval.

Uyime observed that such request for intervention and humanitarian proposals by the federal government without requisite financial appropriation by the House was illegal and a breach of the Appropriation Act.

Contributing to the debate, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, suggested that the House, should first investigate how the Commission have been existing for three years without a budget.

On his part, a member from Kano State, Hafiz Kawu, suggested that the House should also investigate how the counterpart funds came about.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its committee on the NDDC, to scrutinize such request made by the federal government and report back to it within two weeks.

Reporting b Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Chinasa Ossai