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Senate rejects bill seeking to include Anambra among NDDC States


On Wednesday, the Senate rejected a bill that would have added Anambra to the list of states that make up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The move and rejection led to disagreement between Senator Tony Nwoye (LP – Anambra North) and Senator Jibrin Isah popularly known as Echocho (APC – Kogi East).

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 Nwoye.

Nwoye in his lead debate, said that Anambra deserved 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.

But most of the Senators who made contributed to the debate on the bill, opposed the move on the grounds that States like Kogi and Lagos 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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