Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has been advised to give priority to projects that could be funded with the 2016 budget and the proposed 2017 Appropriation in order to ensure early completion and inauguration of such projects.
The Ministry was given the advice by the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, on Thursday during the defence of 2017 budget and the implementation of that of 2016.
At the event, the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani noted that out of
N19.4 billion Naira and N727.2 million appropriated to the Ministry for capital and overhead expenditures in 2016, only the sum of N8.1 billion of the Capital Appropriation has been so far released, while the sum of N525,569,190.94 was released as overhead expenditures.
The Minister also stated that the total budgetary proposal of the Ministry in year 2017 is N35, 501,382,365.00. The personnel cost was put at
N1, 081,793,241), N727, 081,124.00 for overhead and N33, 692,500,000.00 for capital projects.
“For the Ministry to successfully complete all its projects between now and 2018, we need far in excess of the 131 billion Naira we earlier requested, because on daily basis, there are recurrent issues of financial demands, coupled with inflation rate.”
Pastor Usani reiterated that the Ministry had liabilities of over 28 billion naira for the past years. He added: “We recognise that we have a responsibility for establishment of development of new projects and programmes in the Niger Delta region, in a bid to address among other agencies, the restiveness in the region.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi said Niger Delta is a very special area that contribute a lot for the development and sustenance of Nigeria.
“It is disheartening to hear that so much has been allocated to Niger Delta but little impact is seen,” Ayi lamented.
He pledged the support of his committee for the Ministry in its efforts to develop the Niger Delta region.
10th February, 2017