NASS panel dismisses NDDC team over ‘missing’ N143bn

NASS panel dismisses NDDC team over ‘missing’ N143bn

The National Assembly joint Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, on Tuesday, dismissed the management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission from a budget defence session over discrepancies in the accounting records.

The Interim Management Committee of the NDDC, led by the Managing Director, Daniel Pondei, had appeared before the joint panel to defend the agency’s 2019 budget performance and the proposals for the 2020 fiscal year.

Trouble, however, started when the committee queried the balance of N40bn in the agency’s 2019 budget, which was carried forward to 2020.

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Pondei had in his presentation submitted that the commission received N305.5bn as revenue in 2019 and spent N122bn from the amount.

He said the agency was left with a balance of N183.2bn.

He said, “In compliance with the provision of the 2019 Appropriation Act, we implemented the 2019 capital budget till May 31, 2020. On the expenditure side, the 2019 budget implementation was hindered by the delay in its approval and release, coupled with the COVID- 19 global pandemic.

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“Only recurrent expenditure, which runs from January 1 to December 31, 2019, was implemented substantially.”

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, however, faulted the 2019 budget report of the commission.

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