HomePoliticsSenate Votes Against Anambra's Inclusion In NDDC States

Senate Votes Against Anambra’s Inclusion In NDDC States

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A Bill proposing the inclusion of Anambra within the purview of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was emphatically dismissed by the Senate on Wednesday.

The rejection caused a sharp divide between Senator Tony Nwoye (LP – Anambra North) and Senator Jibrin Isah, commonly referred to as Echocho (APC – Kogi East), as they clashed over the Senate’s decision.

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.

In his introductory speech, Nwoye asserted that Anambra’s eligibility for NDDC State status was undeniable, pointing to the state’s receipt of 13 percent derivation since 2021, a result of its ongoing oil production.

However, the majority of Senators who participated in the debate on the bill voiced opposition to the proposal, citing the exclusion of states like Kogi and Lagos from NDDC operations, despite their status as oil-producing states.

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In particular, Senator Isah emphasized that the name “NDDC” implies a regional or geographical intervention body, rather than simply an amalgamation 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 move to defuse tensions brewing between two Senators, floated the notion that if the Senate were to entertain Senator Nwoye’s perspective on Anambra State’s potential NDDC membership, then Lagos State’s possession of two oil wells in Badagry might prompt similar aspirations for inclusion in the commission.

Responding to Senator Nwoye’s assertion that Anambra State qualifies for NDDC membership due to its proximity to the Niger Delta, Akpabio suggested deferring to the National Boundary Commission for a final determination.

Senators voted down the bill during the voice vote, leading to its immediate dismissal.

The Eastern Updates 

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