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Senate Rejects Move To Include Anambra In NDDC Member States



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

An argument ensued between Senators Tony Nwoye (LP Anambra North) and Jibrin Isah, popularly known as Echocho (APC Kogi East) at the plenary on Wednesday.

Nwoye had, in his lead debate on the bill seeking amendment of the NDDC Act for inclusion of Anambra State as an oil-producing state, argued that Anambra deserved membership in the NDDC since it has been collecting 13% derivation since 2021 on account of the appreciable volume of oil production on a yearly basis.

But most of the senators who contributed to the bill in its consideration for a second reading kicked against his argument because states like Kogi and Lagos, which had oil wells, are not covered by the NDDC operations despite being oil-producing states.

Specifically, Echocho said the NDDC, by its name, is more of a regional or geographical intervention body and not just for oil-producing states.

The lawmaker said his state has also been collecting 13% derivation as an oil-producing state, which Nwoye countered, stating that in the document he had showed that Anambra and not Kogi, has been collecting 13% derivation.

Nwoye said, “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 the NDDC.
“Kogi State was also declared as an oil-producing state, but has not been collecting any 13% derivation.”

In defence of his state, Echocho told Nwoye to limit his argument to Anambra State and allow the Senate to decide the fate of his bill.

He also countered him, stating that Kogi had been collecting the derivation since 2022.

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

In a bid to douse the tension, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said if Nwoye’s argument on the proposed membership of Anambra State in the NDDC, is to be accepted by the Senate, then Lagos State, which has two oil wells in Badagry, will also clamour for membership of the commission.

On submissions made by Nwoye that even if the NDDC is considered to be a geographical or regional interventionist body, Anambra State qualifies to be a member on account of its proximity to the Niger Delta area, Akpabio said the National Boundary Commission would have decided that.

He accordingly put passage of the bill for a second reading to voice votes with nays from Senators opposing the bill’s passage overshadowing the ayes.

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