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Senate rejects Niger Delta ministry’s budget (See why here)

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The Senate Committee on Niger Delta Monday rejected the 2020 Budget of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, for omitting major ongoing projects in its Capital Appropriation.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, however asked the committee to appear before the panel next Monday to show how far they have reflected the Ministry’s budget.

Senator Nwaoboshi gave the directive during a budget defence session of the ministry in Abuja.

The Senator representing Delta North insisted that with the oversight function carried out in the ministry, it was realised that the bane of the ministry was abandoned projects littered all over the nine states.

He said: “There is no state; I dare to say that there is no local government where there are no abandoned projects in the Niger Delta.

“We cannot continue like that. With all the abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and we are talking about new projects; these new projects are designed to fail.

“Honourable Minister, we need to look at this budget again and we expect you to do your cleanup because the document we needed were not supplied to us.”

He warned that the habit were “we have proliferation of abandoned projects cannot continue.”

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has not commissioned any completed project executed by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the last four years.

In his contribution, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe noted that the Ministry’s budget is an “uncommon budget.”

“When a budget is designed to fail it is uncommon,” Abaribe said.

“I know that you are aware that during appropriation you cannot remove an item in the next appropriation and I have been looking at the 2020 budget and have seen that many projects have been removed that is why the chairman said there are about 10 projects in the 2019 budget which have disappeared.

“If some work has been done on the budget as part of 2019 and some stretched from 2017 to 2018 and this one stretches from that what happened?

“Chairman, I will suggest that the budget should be taken back for reworking taking into cognisance all the projects that were pointed out and we give them another day to come and defend the budget.”

On his part, Senator Rochas Okorocha, noted that the 2020 budget of the Ministry is not different from its budget of two or three years ago.

“This type of budget doesn’t produce anything feasible,” Okorocha said. “You have to do your projects and complete them so you don’t sound like NDDC because one of the worst establishments is NDDC known for funny activities because of the way it is set up.

“This budget looks like NDDC’s budget. So you as a person that want to leave a legacy why don’t you take a major road and complete and give Niger Deltans something that can give the people job but you have left that and gone to the university to build a hall, the same university that Ministry of education, NDDC and so on would also come to build more borehole or another hall.

“When Federal Government is doing a particular renovation, NDDC is doing it, education is doing it. So I think someone like you is bigger than this,” Okorocha said.

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