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Senate throws out bill seeking to include Anambra in NDDC

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The Senate has rejected a bill seeking the inclusion of Anambra State as a member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The bill was sponsored by the senator representing Anambra North, Senator Tony Nwoye.

The Senator had in his presentation on Wednesday, argued that as an oil-producing state collecting 13 per cent derivative, Anambra State ought to be included in the NDDC.

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“Mr. President and distinguished colleagues, Anambra as an oil-producing state has been collecting 13 per cent derivation for the oil exploited from her wells by the Federal Government since 2021, and eminently deserves to be included in the operational radius of NDDC,” he said.

“Kogi State was also declared as an oil-producing state, but has not been collecting any 13 per cent derivation.”

But most of the senators who made submissions during the debate on the bill, which was being considered for a second reading, shot down Nwoye’s argument.

He noted that being an oil-producing state was not the sole criterion for membership in the NDDC. He pointed out that the NDDC was an agency established mainly for the interest of states in the Niger Delta region, to which Anambra does not belong.

Particularly, the senator representing Kogi East, Senator Jibrin Isah, took Nwoye on for dragging Kogi into his argument.

Isah said contrary to Nwoye’s claim, Kogi, as an oil-producing state, had also been enjoying 13 per cent derivative 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 per cent derivation since October 2022.”

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, also faulted Nwoye’s argument, pointing out that Lagos, with two oil wells in Badagry, should have been clamouring to be included in the NDDC if being an oil-producing state was the sole consideration for being added to the NDDC.

On Nwoye’s submission that even if NDDC was considered to be a geographical or regional interventionist body, Anambra State qualified on account of its proximity to the Niger Delta area, Akpabio said the National Boundary Commission would have to decide that.

He, subsequently, put the passage of the bill for a second reading to voice votes, with nays from senators opposing the passage of the bill overshadowing the ayes.

The bill was thereafter dropped by the Red Chamber.

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