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Budget 2013: Senate warns NDDC to submit budget

09 November 2012, 07:38

Abuja - The Senate, on Thursday threatened to reject the 2013 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) failed to submit it before the end of the year.

The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, issued the warning during consideration of the report of the Niger Delta Committee on the 2012 budget of NDDC in Abuja.

He said the delays were deliberate and unacceptable because NDDC had been in the habit of late submission of its budget since 1999.

He said the integrity of NDDC was at stake over how it intended to spend N250.8 billion in two months.

"It’s a very serious issue. There are  so many complaints by the host communities that nothing is being done to develop their areas.

"Year in year out, since the inception of this current civilian administration in 1999, NDDC budget has always shown up in October or November.

"If 2013 budget does not get to us before the end of the year, then forget it," Mark stressed.

The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, said urgent measures must be put in place to address late submission of budgets by some government agencies.

"I don’t know when they are going to implement a budget of 2012 when we have only two months to the end of the year. Something must be done to ensure budget gets to us on time.

Sen. Smart Adeyemi (PDP- Kogi), said that the intent and purpose of the budget would have been defeated as a result of the late submission.

"It’s unfortunate that this budget is coming in November. This budget in November is a mockery of the budget.

"We hope that the 2013 budget will come in time to be able to fulfil the yearning and aspirations of the people," he wondered.

Also contributing, Sen. Bello Tukur (PDP- Adamawa) urged the Senate to ensure that it compelled NDDC to present its 2013 estimate in good  order to benefit the people. 

"I don’t think that there is any excuse for bringing this budget very late. If we must correct this anomaly, then we must get them to bring 2013 budget in good time," he stressed.

Out of the N250.8 billion appropriated for the agency, N232 billion is for the execution of development projects and N10.2 billion for personnel expenditure.

Internal capital projects have N1 billion, while N7.5 billion is allocated for overhead expenditure.

The Senate also on Thursday, suspended Plenary session till Nov. 20 to enable members to attend the Constitution Review Hearings in their districts and allow the committees time to work on the 2013 budget.

- NAN

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