Mr Nsima Ekere, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has appealed to the House of Representatives to assist NDDC recover outstanding funds owed the commission by the Federal Government.
Ekere, made the call in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the commission’s Director of Corporate Communications, Dr Ibitoye Abosede.
He told members of House Committee on NDDC, who visited the commission in Port Harcourt, that Federal Government owed the commission `hundreds of billions of naira.’
He said: “If Federal Government remits the outstanding funds; it will help the commission to continue to work for the peace and progress of the Niger Delta.
“I recall that committee members had invited the Accountant-General of the Federation and some officials of the Ministry of Finance over the outstanding payment from Federation Account.
“Also, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Budget and National Planning to work with NDDC in reconciling all statutory obligations and agree on immediate payment plan.
“However, the issue is still pending and the reconciliation which President Buhari ordered is yet to be concluded,” he said.
Ekere said NDDC needed the funds to sustain current peace achieved in the Niger Delta through projects being undertaken by the Buhari-led Federal Government and the NDDC.
He said that current peace in the region had helped oil and gas industries to produce optimally, resulting to more capital inflow into the Federation Account.
The managing director commended the National Assembly on its amendment of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (fiscal incentives, guaranteed and assurance) Act of 2004.
“This amendment stripped the NLNG of its immunity from financial contributions to the NDDC. This has helped NDDC to realise funds to pay contractors for the projects they are handling.
“Also, we have been able to recover lots of revenue from the oil and gas companies. These companies that had hitherto failed to fulfill their financial obligations are now cooperating,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, Nicholas Mutu, said that committee members were on oversight function to the commission.
“We are basically interested in examining the books and keeping tract with development efforts by inspecting ongoing projects,” he said.