Senate,on Thursday, passed N299, 526, 463, 156.12 budget proposal for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2015 fiscal year.
The budget breakdown shows that N271, 089, 998, 023 billion isearmarked for project (development) expenditure; N16, 133, 377, 133.00for personnel expenditure; N10, 423,319,000.00 billion for overhead and N1, 879,769,000.12 billion for capital expenditure.
According to the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, the budget will befinanced from a projected revenue of N300.1 billion, drawn from N160billion contribution from oil companies; N70 billion provision fromthe federal government; N40 billion ecological funds; N20 billionunpaid arrears by the federal government; N10 billion as revenuebrought forward and N100 million internally generated revenue.
In its presentation, the Committee Chairman, James Manager (PDPDeltaSouth), said the committee considered the federal governmentproposals and observed that non-project expenditure, which comprised, overheads and the internal capital totaling N28.4 billion, represent 9.5 per cent of the total proposed budget for the year asagainst 8.43 per cent proposed in 2014.
He added that the N271.089 billion approved as project development,represents N90.5 per cent of the total proposed budget asagainst the 91.46 per cent proposed in 2014.
He said: “It is pertinent to mention that due to the peculiar natureof the NDDC budget, the committee finds that it is necessary toseparate the capital, meant for use internally by the commissionfrom capital budget meant for project development”.
The committee, which said the budget should be operative from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, also advised the Senate to relentlesslypursue the proper calculation and release of 15 per cent statutory contribution of the federal government for the funding of NDDC.
The committee also recommended the need for the Senate to assist inenforcing the payment of the statutory 50 per cent of monies meant forNDDC member states from the ecological fund, with a view to enhancingthe commission’s revenue base.
It also urged the Senate to direct the management of NDDC to avoidcarrying out any virement in the approved budget without a recourse tothe National Assembly.