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NDDC To Eliminate Redundancy In Budget Implementation

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Monday said it has started a procedure that would remove the practice of operating in opposition to the regional state governors by eliminating redundancy and wastage of scarce resources allocated for the development of the region.

This was stated by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, during his speech at the forum of the 2024 budget of reconstruction conference with the theme “Partners for Sustainable Development Forum-NDDC 2024,” held on Monday at the Ibom Icon Hotel in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

According to him, to actualise that mandate, the commission brought all the service providers and project implementers to the same table to fashion a common pathway for the development of the region.

He said, in keeping with the Federal Government’s “Renewed Hope”  programme, Dr Shuaib Belgore, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, blamed the commission’s poor implementation strategy throughout the years on the late submission of budgets in his keynote speech.

He claimed that the stakeholders’ conference was intended to serve as a platform for developing an effective budgeting system.

“This conference is very vital. For one, it helps to revive the platform of the partners for sustainable development forum which was created as part of the regional master plan implementation guideline, to bring all service providers and project implementers to the same table to fashion a common pathway based on shared vision for the development of the Niger Delta region.

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“For another, it affords all of us the incentive and opportunity to pool our resources together and initiate projects and programmes with the obligatory goal of building a better region and empowering our people.

“By so doing, we would, arising from the conference, galvanize our energies for a common purpose, eliminate duplications and institutional suspicions in the development process, reduce the incidence of working at cross purposes as well as reduce wastage of scarce resources allocated for regional developmental initiatives by all stakeholders”, Ogbuku said.

Belgore asked the new administration to develop and adopt a financial approach that would be in sync with the specified requirements of the applicable Establishment Act. Belgore was represented by the head of Planning and Statistics for the ministry, Mr Alfred Abba.

He said, “Undoubtedly, NDDC budgets over the years have been faced with challenges, which included belated submission, and delayed approvals amongst others.

“These challenges have led to low/poor implementation of which this conference intends to address. I will encourage the Commission to continue to evolve and adopt a budgetary process that is in tandem with the stipulated provisions of the relevant Establishment Act.

“Sections 18 and 19 of the NDDC Act, require the Commission’s Board to submit a Budget proposal of a succeeding year, no later than 30th September of the current year, thus the 2024 Budget of the Commission ought to be submitted by 30th September, 2023.”

While pledging that the ministry would provide the Commission with the support required to guarantee passage of its annual budgets, he urged the Commission to adopt a strong and innovative path towards right budgeting that was based on transparency and stakeholder involvement.

Representatives of the nine Niger Delta governments, foreign oil companies, traditional leaders, youth organisations, and civil society organisations are among those participating in the two-day meeting.

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