… says FG seeking funds without parliamentary approval

The House of Representatives has ordered the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to pause the release of N15 billion counterpart funds, earlier requested by the federal government.

The funds meant for a humanitarian intervention scheme is to be put on hold, on the directive of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.

This was revealed at the Thursday’s plenary after the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance which was sponsored by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Akwa Ibom, Unyime Idem.

The federal lawmaker said the federal government made the request of the funds from the ministry without the seeking the approval of the Parliament.

“Part of the fund available for use by the commission is money recovered on its behalf by EFCC and given to the commission to ease the implementation and its financial obligations,” the lawmaker said.

“The federal government sent a special request mandating the ministry of Niger Delta to jointly finance an intervention and humanitarian programme of sums running into several billions of naira using the money recovered by the EFCC without budgetary provision.”

The lawmaker added that the budgets of the NDDC for 2021, 2022 and 2023 have not been given parliamentary approval.

He described the federal government’s request “without requisite financial appropriation and approval” as “illegal and a breach of the Appropriation Act”.

The members of the house voted in support of the motion when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The lower chamber of the national assembly ordered the committee on NDDC to “scrutinise” the request of the FG and get back to the house within two weeks.

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