• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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NDDC to execute over 1000 projects with N1.9trn 2024 budget

NDDC presents N1.9trn 2024 budget to House of Reps, pledges accelerated development

Over 1000 projects would be executed from the N1.9trn budget approved by the senate for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2024 fiscal year.

The commission explained this is the reason it is seeking N1trn loan from development and commercial banks.

The Senate recently approved the budget together with the proposed borrowing, but the commission said on Wednesday, this has raised some concerns among the citizens.

In a statement in Port Harcourt signed by Pius Ughakpoteni, the director, corporate communications, the commission said it was important to clarify that this fund would be deployed to complete a total of 1,006 legacy projects spread across the region.

The proposed legacy projects were named as roads, bridges, electricity projects, school buildings, hospitals, shore protection and reclamation, among others.

The arrangement is for the budget to be funded through statutory provision and borrowings to curb the inflation rate and ensure that quality projects are delivered to the Region on time.

While emphasisng 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.

The NDDC said this was a critical step towards diversifying their source of funding.
“The main emphasis will be the completion of 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.
We urge our stakeholders to appreciate the fact that regional development needs a robust funding mechanism to effectively address specific and urgent development needs in the Niger Delta region.

“Obviously, timely and flexible financial decision-making is crucial to respond effectively to dynamic regional challenges.

The funding plan is meant to insulate the NDDC from the inflationary pressure which is impairing the ability of the Commission to complete its development projects on schedule.”

The statement said there is no doubt that funding is critical to the development of the Niger Delta region and the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

“We commend the 10th National Assembly for always supporting us in the urgent task of developing the Niger Delta region. The expeditious passage of our 2024 budget underscores the devotion of the lawmakers to regional development and to the greater welfare of the Niger Delta people.

“We appeal to our stakeholders to refrain from making hasty judgments on our initiative to pool resources for urgent development purposes. They can be rest assured that we are dedicated to the development of the Niger Delta region and the welfare of its people.”

Many have raised eyebrows in the area of evidence of the competence to manage such huge financial assets at a go, and the tracking mechanisms on ground for over 1000 projects in one year.

The Commission must also be feeling the heat from those who wondered what the interest rates would be since the market rate is over 35 per cent since the hiking of the rates by the Central Bank of Nigeria twice within half of 2024 to over 45 per cent. The lack of information on duration of the loan may also be one of the concerns that the Commission talked about.

In all this, however, insiders say the competence the present board and management have so far demonstrated may have given the senate and the presidency to the courage to approve such whopping sum as loan especially as this is nowhere near an election year that create fears of diversion of the loans to fund electioneering campaigns.