The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani has presented a draft budget of N41,600,274,568 covering capital, overhead and personnel appropriation for 2019 before the Senate and House of Representatives committees on Niger Delta on Thursday.
The minister said about 80 projects, covering roads, water, electricity, housing, blocks of class room, food, cassava processing plants, health care centres, empowerment programmes, sensitisation on peace and security, medical outreaches, land reclamation and erosion control among others were completed within the 2018 budget year across the nine states of the Niger Delta region.
Usani said the implementation of the 2018 capital budget is still on-going as more projects are expected to be completed before June, 2019.
He said “The core projects earmarked for execution in the fiscal year 2019 are indeed consistent with the programmes spelt out in the Budget guidelines.”
He stated that the ministry will continue to ensure that quality jobs are delivered to the people and residents of the Niger Delta region by contractors.
The joint committee stated the need for effective implementation of budgetary allocations and timely completion of projects that would benefit the people of the region.
Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta Senator Peter Nwaoboshi said: “If we discover that you do not deserve the money allocated to you by Mr president, we will ensure that such money is given to other ministries or agencies that need it, but if will also discover that the money allocated to you is smaller than what you require, we will source for other areas of raising funds for you.”
Nwaoboshi said the discoveries from the committee’s oversight visits to the region would be the major deciding factors for the consideration of the ministry’s 2019 appropriation.
Earlier, the chairman House Committee on Niger Delta, Honourable Essien Ayi said his committee is interested in the completion of on-going capital projects in the region, saying that the committee, in its last oversight visit to various projects of the ministry in the region witnessed a number of uncompleted projects.
Ayi also said completed housing schemes in the Niger Delta region by the ministry should be handed over to the beneficiaries to address their housing need. “The Niger Delta people deserve to be treated better,” he said.