Se­nate amends NDDC Act, Reps flay vi­o­la­tion on board ap­point­ment

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Az­i­mazi Mo­moh Ji­moh and Adamu Abuh, Abuja

THE Bill for an Act to amend the Niger Delta De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion (Es­tab­lish­ment) Act 2000 and for other mat­ters con­nected there­with, was yes­ter­day read the third time and passed by the Se­nate.

The Bill which was spon­sored by Se­na­tor Peter Nwao­boshi, PDP, Delta North, is in­tended to aug­ment and strengthen the Prin­ci­pal Act so as to clar­ify cer­tain pro­vi­sions of the Act, oblit­er­ate ob­vi­ous la­cu­nas and pro­pel the Com­mis­sion to­wards ex­cel­lent ser­vice de­liv­ery, which will in turn im­pact pos­i­tively on the Niger Delta Re­gion and the na­tion in gen­eral. The bill is to also clar­ify cer­tain pro­vi­sions of the Act and to pro­vide for prompt re­mit­tance of funds due to the Com­mis­sion and penal­ties for de­lay or de­fault.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki said that with the pas­sage of the bill, In­ter­na­tional Oil Com­pa­nies (IOCS) and other stake­hold­ers in the gas sec­tor would now be man­dated by law to re­mit cer­tain amount owed to the Niger Delta re­gion, just as he said that this would help boost the rev­enue base of the NDDC to carry out some projects as well as ar­rest youth restive­ness in the re­gion.

Nwao­boshi said: “Th­ese gas pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies have not paid the three per cent statu­tory fund to it, adding, “How­ever, Sec­tion 14 of the Act which pro­vides for fund for the Com­mis­sion has been strength­ened to en­sure prompt re­lease of statu­tory funds to the Com­mis­sion.

“There are ad­e­quate statutes to en­sure proper uti­liza­tion of the funds, more so, the Na­tional Assem­bly will def­i­nitely carry out its over­sight func­tion over the Com­mis­sion, to en­sure ac­count­abil­ity in the uti­liza­tion of the fund. “Ac­cord­ingly, it is im­per­a­tive to amend the NigerDelta De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion (Es­tab­lish­ment, etc) Act, 2000, so as to pave the way for more ef­fi­cient run­ning of the Com­mis­sion.’’

Mean­while, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives yes­ter­day flayed the al­leged vi­o­la­tion of the NDDC Act re­lat­ing to the ap­point­ment of its board mem­bers. Adopt­ing a mo­tion spon­sored by Mr. Daniel Afonjo, PDP south­ern Ijaw Fed­eral con­stituency of Bayelsa dur­ing the ple­nary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Su­lai­mon Yus­suff La­sun, the law­mak­ers urged the ex­ec­u­tive arm to ad­here strictly to the pro­vi­sions of the NDDC Act of 2000 with re­spect to the ten­ure of the cur­rent Board. The House re­solved to con­sti­tute an ad- hoc com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter with a view to en­sur­ing com­pli­ance with the NDDC Act, 2000. The pro­posed com­mit­tee is to re­port back within two weeks for fur­ther leg­isla­tive ac­tion.

Afonjo faulted the de­ci­sion to grant the Board mem­bers a fresh ten­ure of four years, rather than them serv­ing out the un­ex­pired ten­ure of the dis­solved Board.

Pres­i­dent Mo­ham­madu Buhari with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor, An­gela Merkel; Pres­i­dent of Chad Idris Deby; Pres­i­dent of Equa­to­rial Guinea, Teodoro Mba­sogo; Pres­i­dent of Niger, Muham­madou Is­soufou and Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs, Ge­of­frey Onyeama, at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the fifth AU-EU Sum­mit in Abid­jan, Côte d’ivoire. …yes­ter­day.

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