The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) budgeted a whopping sum of N1.3 billion on fumigation of its premises and another N2.2bn to organise seminars in the 2011 fiscal year, according to details of the commission’s budget approved by the National Assembly.
President Goodluck Jonathan presented the commission’s N250 billion budget for 2011 fiscal year to the legislature late in December, blaming the delay on leadership tussle in the NDDC.
The National Assembly speedily passed the budget after increasing it to N261 billion.
Details of the budget obtained by Daily Trust in Abuja showed that N1.3 billion was provided for the fumigation of offices in the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt and other offices elsewhere.
The NDDC headquarters is a nine-floor storey building, but Daily Trust could not confirm the number of offices in the structure.
Also, the budget provided N1.2 billion for “presidential project monitoring,” which an insider said is meant to be spent on hosting government officials who come visiting the NDDC offices and project sites.
The commission also got N1.8 billion to spend on traveling; N603 million for staff training; N550 million for international conferences; and N759 million for project consultancy.
Vehicle running cost got N794 million and N174 million was provided for vehicle maintenance.
Payment of insurance by the commission gulped N550 million; N550 million is for donations; N638 million for security; and N682 million for hotel bills.
Other expenditure are N308 million for publicity, N160 million for legal expenses, N44 million for entertainment and N394 million for community relations.
Telephone bills got N402 million, N70 million voted for project monitoring and N361 million for corporate affairs.
Also, N2.865 billion is set aside for the headquarters of the agency without specifying the expenditure items.
NDDC was set up in 2001 as an interventionist agency to help address the alleged underdeveloped of the oil rich Niger Delta region.
But it has not met up expectations of people in the region despite receiving hundreds of billions of naira annually.
The agency has also been dogged by in-fighting, boardroom squabble and unproven allegations of corruption.
NDDC was under the Presidency until the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta in 2009, when the commission was transferred to the ministry.
–Source: Daily Trust