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Thursday, 29 February 2024 09:44

Senate rejects bill seeking to include Anambra among NDDC States

A bill seeking to include Anambra among States in the Niger Delta Development Commission was on Wednesday, February 28, thrown out by the senate.

The Bill titled: A Bill for an Act to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act to make provision for the inclusion of Anambra State as one of the member state and for other connected matters thereto, 2024” was sponsored by Senator Tony Nwoye of Anambra state.

He stated that Anambra deserves to be a member of NDDC States having been collecting 13 per cent derivation since 2021 on account of oil production in the state on yearly basis.

Some senators debated against the bill by pointing out that states like Kogi and Lagos are not covered by NDDC operations despite being oil- producing States.

Senator Jibrin Isah popularly known as Echocho also noted that NDDC by its name, is more of a regional or geographical intervention body and not just an amalgam of oil producing states.

Nwoye responded by saying:

“Mr President and distinguished colleagues, Anambra as an oil producing state has been collecting 13% derivation from oil exploited from her wells by the federal government since 2021 and eminently deserves to be included in the operational radius of NDDC.

“Kogi State was also declared as an oil producing state but has not been collecting any 13% derivation.”
This was countered by Senator Isah who asked Senator Nwoye to limit his argument to Anambra State and allow the Senate to decide the fate of his bill.

He said;

“Senator Nwoye with all due respect, please stop dragging Kogi State into your argument for membership of Anambra State in NDDC. Kogi State is an oil producing State and has also been collecting 13% derivation since October 2022.”

Senate President Godswill Akpabio who intervened, stated that if the argument of Senator Nwoye on proposed membership of Anambra State in NDDC is to be accepted by the Senate, then Lagos State which has two oil wells in Badagry, will also advocate for membership of the commission.

He also said that if NDDC is considered to be a geographical or regional interventionist body, Anambra State is qualified to be a member on account of its proximity to Niger Delta area. The Senate President further stated that the National Boundary Commission should be allowed to so decide.

Senators at the plenary voted against the bill when it was put to voice vote and it was subsequently threw away.

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