Senate rejects bill seeking to include Anambra among NDDC States

The Senate has rejected a move to include Anambra State in the membership of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).


The rejection led to a face-off between Senators Tony Nwoye (LP Anambra North) and Jibrin Isah (APC Kogi East).


Senator Nwoye, in his lead debate on the bill seeking for amendment of the NDDC Act for inclusion of Anambra State, being an oil producing state, argued that Anambra deserved to be a member of NDDC since it has been collecting the 13 percent derivation fund since 2021 on account of appreciable volume of oil production.


But most of the senators who contributed to the debate on the bill, kicked against Senator Nwoye’s argument on the grounds that states like Kogi and Lagos States are not covered by NDDC operations despite being oil producing states.


Specifically, Senator Isah said NDDC by its name is more of a regional or geographical intervention body and not just an amalgam of oil producing states.


He noted that his home State (Kogi) has also been collecting 13% derivation as an oil-producing State.


Nwoye vehemently countered Isah’s claim by repeatedly brandishing a document in his hand that it is Anambra and not Kogi, that has been collecting 13% derivation.


“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,” he said.


At this point Senator Isah warmed Senator Nwoye to limit his argument to Anambra State and allow the Senate to decide the fate of his bill.


“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,” he said.


Senate President Godswill Akpabio in a bid to douse the tension building between the two Senators, said 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.


On submissions made by Senator Nwoye that even 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, Akpabio said the National Boundary Commission should be allowed to so decide.


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



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