• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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N1.9 trn 2024 budget: NDDC to source N1trn from banks

N1.9 trn 2024 budget: NDDC to source N1trn from banks

Development funds of up to N1trn are expected from banks to make up the N1.9 trillion 2024 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Commission has just presented its budget proposals of N1.911trn for 2024 to the Senate Committee on the NDDC at the National Assembly.

Other major sources of funds in the landmark budget, the highest ever, include N170bn from FG agencies, N324bn from FG allocation transfers, and N375bn from oil and gas companies.

Presenting the proposals to the Senate Committee chaired by Asuquo Ekpeyong, the NDDC Managing Director, Samuel Ogbuku, said that the proposed budget seeks to move the Commission from transaction to transformation. He said it was a product of participatory budgeting process that involves all the major stakeholders in the Niger Delta Region.

Ogbuku said: “In preparing the 2024 Budget, our primary objective has been to sustain our robust foundation for sustainable economic development. A critical focus of this budget is this present management’s commitment to a greener future.

“The revenue estimates include opening balance of ₦12billion. Unpaid arrears and recoveries from Federal Government Agencies of ₦170billion. ₦1trillion is expected to be sourced from development/commercial banks, Federal Government statutory transfers of ₦324 billion. Expected ₦25 billion from Ecological fund. Expected Revenue of ₦375billion from the Oil & Gas Companies, ₦5billion is expected from other sources (grants, bank interests and sales of boarded items).

“Investing in critical infrastructure is a key component of our fiscal strategy under the 2024 Budget Proposals. The present Management has noted that the Commission alone would not be able to effectively address the development challenges in the Niger Delta region and are re-navigating its process of intervention by adopting Public-Private-Partnership model as a vehicle to drive a sustainable development in the Niger Delta Region.

“Emphasising public-private partnerships, we have strategically made provisions to leverage private capital for big-ticket infrastructure projects in regional roads to enhance transportation and other sectors.

“This marks a critical step towards diversifying our source of funding as we intend to source an aggregate sum of ₦1trillion to fund on-going legacy projects of the Commission in 2024. The sum is to be out-sourced from the development/commercial banks etc.
“The main emphasis will be the completion of as many ongoing legacy projects that have advanced greatly. It is our expectation that by the end of the 2024 fiscal year we would have completed more than 200km of roads across the Niger Delta region.”

Ogbuku commended the 10th National Assembly’s firm commitment to stop the circle of delayed annual budgets. “I am confident that with our renewed partnership, the deliberations on the 2024 Budget shall be completed soon to pave way for 2025 budget as this present Management is poised to normalise NDDC budget calendar,” he said.

Reviewing the activities of the NDDC in the 2023 budget year, Ogbuku said that the Commission had initiated many programmes such as the Holistic Opportunities for Programme and Engagement (Project HOPE).

“We came up with Project HOPE to properly train and empower the Youths and Artisans of the Niger Delta Region and maintain a database that would afford equal opportunity to all Niger Deltans.

“In the area of infrastructure, we came up with ‘Operation Light Up Niger Delta Region,’ this has seen a reasonable number of the communities being lit up using solar powered street lights, which have boosted the economic activities of communities at night.

“In the area of healthcare, the NDDC through the free medical mission has provided health solutions to over two million Niger Deltans across communities in the Region and remains committed to working with relevant stakeholders to improve health and all other critical sectors that impact positively on the overall development of the health and wellness of the people of the region.

“In Education, we have awarded foreign scholarships to 750 individuals between 2023-2024 (for 2022, 2023 & 2024 years) and provided educational grants to 84 individuals. Additionally, we are distributing 45,000 Ulesson tablets preloaded with Nigerian and WAEC syllabus to schools in the nine states in the Niger Delta region.”

Ogbuku further said that the hallmark of the present management’s tenure lay in its approach to development and collaboration which had seen the commissioning of five flagship projects within 10 days.

He listed the projects as the 9km Obehie-Oke-Ikpe road in Ukwa West LGA, Abia State; the 27.5 kilometre Ogbia -Nembe Road, constructed in partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC; the 1×15MVA 33/11KV electricity injection substation in Amufi, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area in Benin City, Edo State; the 45km double-circuit 33KV feeder line from Omotosho Power Station to Okitipupa, Ondo State and the NDDC 6km Iko-Atabrikang-Akata-Opulom-Ikot Inwang-Okoroutip-Iwochang road and 600m Ibeno Bridge in Ibeno LGA, Akwa Ibom State, according to a statement signed by the corporate director, Pius Ughakpoteni.