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NDDC: Senate rejects Anambra as lawmakers biker over Kogi

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Tony Nwoye

Senate on Wednesday rejected move to include Anambra State in the membership of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

This followed the presentation of a bill seeking for amendment of the NDDC Act for inclusion of Anambra State as an oil producing state by Senator Tony Nwoye (LP Anambra North) during plenary.

The development led to bickering between Senators Nwoye and Jibrin Isah popularly known as Echocho (APC Kogi East).

Senator Nwoye had in his lead debate argued that Anambra deserved membership of NDDC since it has been collecting 13% derivation since 2021 on account of appreciable volume of oil production on yearly basis .

But most of the Senators who made contributions on the bill , Nwoye spiritedly sought second reading for, kicked against his argument on the grounds that States like Kogi and Lagos States are not covered by NDDC operations despite being oil producing states.

Specifically, Senator Jibrin, said NDDC by its name , is more of regional or geographical intervention body and not just for oil producing states.

He said Kogi State has also been collecting 13% derivation as an oil producing state, a claim Senator Nwoye vociferously countered, by repeatedly declaring with relevant documents in his hand that Anambra and not Kogi, 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.

Irked by the submission, Senator Jibrin furiously took to the floor by admonishing 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.

In a tension dousing move , the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, 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 clamour for membership of the commission.

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

He accordingly put passage of the bill for second reading ayes and nays, with nays from Senators overwhelming those in favour of it .

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