• Friday, April 12, 2024
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Senate throws out Bill to include Anambra as NDDC member states

The Nigerian Senate has rejected a Bill for an Act seeking to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act to make provision for the inclusion of Anambra state as one of the member states.

The bill, sponsored by Nwonye Tony, the Senator representing Anambra North thrown out after a majority of lawmakers voted against it during plenary on Wednesday.

During the debate on the bill, some lawmakers voted in favour, but several others voted against it. Arguing in favour of the Bill, Adams Oshiomhole, the Senator representing Edo North, said including Anambra will promote equity, justice and fairness.

Arguing against it, Henry Dickson, Senator representing Bayelsa said including Abambra does not align with the history of the establishment of the NDDC. “It will not make any sense “, he said.

Also speaking on the Bill, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said the term ‘Niger Delta’ is limited to states producing oil within the geographical region only.

He argued that including Anabra will first require a change in the nomenclature ‘Niger Delta’ or a review of the NDDC Act to provide for all states producing oil irrespective of geographical location.

“The term makes the Niger Delta makes the Nigerian Delta to include the mangrove swamp of Ondo and the Swamp forest of Abia and Imo River. The NDDC involves nine states as a geographical location. If it is given to the Senate that we add Anambra, I will also suggest that we add Kogi, Bauchi and others that have started producing oil to the NDDC immediately. The word ‘Niger Delta’ is limiting, that is why even Lagos which is producing oil and getting its 13% derivation is not part of the NDDC.

“Unless we expand the word Niger Delta to include any state found with oil “, Akpabio stressed.

He then asked the sponsor of the Bill if he would like to withdraw the bill for further consultation or put it to a voice vote.

The bill was eventually put to a voice vote and a majority of lawmakers voted that it should not be read for a second time.