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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the total sum of N322,600,000,000 billion was passed through Second Reading on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the House finally passed the N271 billion 2014 Appropriation Bill of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through Second Reading.

The FCTA budget, which was initially blocked by members on Thursday, July 3, was given a clean bill of health by members when the bill was reintroduced on the Order Paper.

While speaking in favour of the Niger Delta bill, Hon. Abubakar Momoh observed that going by what is contained in the bill, the people of Niger Delta would be happy, if the fund is well implemented.

Momoh, who warned that the fund should not go the way of other mismanaged funds, called on the House Committee on Niger Delta to monitor the implementation to the very end.

In his contribution, Hon. Peterside Dakuku urged that the tripartite issue of equity, fairness and justice be taken into consideration with all seriousness.

He cited an example of how 70 percent of the Rivers State’s budget is domiciled in a single local government that contributes barely 5 percent to the resources.

The proposed sum for the fund is N322, 600, 000, 000 billion.

Out of the sum, N15,080,730,000 billion is for personal costs; N10,186,820,000 billion is for overhead expenditure; N2,281,280,000 billion is for capital expenditure; while N295,051,179,000 billion is for development projects.

The bill, which was read for the first time on Thursday, June 5, 2014, was, thereafter, referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta.

In a related development, the N271 billion 2014 Appropriation Bill of FCTA passed through Second Reading.

Debate on the bill, which was adjourned last week, resumed on Wednesday, and it was unanimously approved by members.

Speaking in support of the bill, chairman, House Committee on FCT, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, observed that the importance of the bill could be seen from the increase in the present budget.

“In the proposed budget, there was a slight increase from N259 billion in 2013, to N271 billion for the 2014, which represents an increase of N12 billion.

“The breakdown of the budget indicates a sum of N49, 200, 944, 858 billion only is for personnel cost, while the sum of N62, 891, 521, 857) only is for overhead cost,” he added.

The proposed sum for the 2014 fiscal year is N271,125,103,635 billion.

Out of the above sum, N49,200,944,858 billion is for personnel cost, N62,891,521,857 billion is for overhead cost, while the balance of N159,032,636,920 billion is for capital projects for the service of the FCT.

The bill was, thereafter, referred to the House Committee on FCTA and House Committee on Finance for revenue profile.