Senators from the South-South geo-political region fumed during plenary this week, when Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West) made a case for Lagos, Bauchi and Ogun to be included in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
South-South Senators do not want Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi included in NDDC
"The NDDC is a regional development commission. We must draw a distinction between the NDDC and the oil and mineral producing commission,” says Senator Omo-Agege.
Adeola's premise was that crude oil has been discovered in the aforementioned states.
During the consideration of a Bill for an Act to amend the NDDC Act which he sponsored, Senator Adeola advocated for Lagos, Bauchi and Ogun to enjoy the 13 percent derivation that is given to the 9 states captured in the NDDC Act.
The 9 NDDC states who currently enjoy extra-budgetary allocation from the federal government are Cross River, Edo, Delta, Abia, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Ondo.
According to Senator Adeola: “Following the discovery of oil in Bauchi, Lagos and Ogun, these states have officially joined the league of oil producing states in Nigeria following the discovery of crude oil in Alkaleri LGA, Bauchi; Badagry, Lagos, and Ipokia, Ogun State.
“By virtue of this, the states are entitled to the 13 per cent derivation that is due to oil producing states, according to the provision of Section 162 Sub-Section 2 of the Nigerian constitution.”
Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo- Agege (APC, Delta Central), Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South) and George Sekibo(PDP, Rivers East) kicked against Adeola's motion, with Omo-Agege describing his colleague as a "meddlesome interloper."
The Niger Delta senators advised Adeola and those in his camp to advocate for the creation of a South West Development Commission instead.
According to Omo-Agege, Urhoghide and Sekibo, NDDC was created to address the environmental degradation caused by oil exploration in the region.
However, the bill seeking for an amendment to the NDDC Act to accommodate Lagos, Bauchi and Ogun scaled second reading during plenary, despite a groundswell of opposition.
Afterwards, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Peter Nwaoboshi (APC, Delta North) committee for further legislative action.
The committee will report back to the entire senate in four weeks.
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