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NDDC’s 2024 Budget: A Step Towards Sustainable Development

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Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, MD NDDC.
– N1.91tn budget presented to Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs
– Focus on security, job creation, youth and women empowerment, social welfare, education, and infrastructure
– Borrowing N1trn, expecting N324bn from Federal Government and N25bn ecology fund.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has presented its 2024 budget to the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, prioritizing sustainable development. The proposed budget aims to move the commission from transaction to transformation.

According to Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director, the budget prioritizes improvement in security, job creation, and infrastructure development. He emphasized that the budget was prepared through a participatory process involving all major stakeholders in the Niger Delta Region.

The agency proposed an aggregate expenditure of N1.911trn, with outstanding revenue from last fiscal year at N12bn and arrears owed by the Federal Government at N170bn. Ogbuku stated that the agency plans to borrow N1trn and expects N375bn from oil companies and N5bn as Internally Generated Revenue.

On expenditure, the NDDC plans to spend N38.545bn on personnel costs, N29.246bn on overhead costs, and N8.785bn on internal capital. The agency will fund legacy projects with the borrowed N1trn and an additional N835.222bn. Ogbuku noted that investing in critical infrastructure is key to driving sustainable development in the Niger Delta Region.

The commission has made provision for the payment of legacy debts, estimating a phased payment plan over 10 years. Ogbuku expressed optimism that the budget will sustain a robust foundation for sustainable economic development.

 

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Nnamdi Kanu seeks negotiation with FG over trial

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Nnamdi Kalu
– Nnamdi Kanu seeks negotiation with FG over ongoing trial
– Kanu’s lawyer moves two applications before the Federal High Court
– FG’s counsel says defendant should approach Attorney General for negotiation

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has expressed willingness to negotiate with the Federal Government over his ongoing trial.

Through his counsel, Alloy Ejimakor, Kanu informed the Federal High Court in Abuja of his intention to seek negotiation under Section 17 of the Federal High Court Act.

Ejimakor had earlier moved two applications before the court, including one objecting to the jurisdiction of the court. If the applications are denied, Kanu’s lawyer plans to invoke Section 17, which promotes reconciliation and amicable settlement among parties.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government’s counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, stated that the defendant should approach the Attorney General of the Federation for negotiation.

Justice Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, clarified that the court’s role is to hear cases, not to solicit negotiations. Kanu has been in DSS custody since June 2021, facing terrorism-related charges levelled against him by the government.

His lawyer’s latest move may signal a potential shift in the case’s trajectory.

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30,000 Students to Benefit from FG’s Interest-Free Loan Scheme

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– Over 30,000 students selected for federal government’s student loan scheme
– Scheme aims to support underprivileged students in pursuing higher education
– Loan is interest-free and does not require a “godfather”

The federal government’s student loan scheme has selected over 30,000 students to benefit from the initiative.

This was announced by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during a visit to the Nigeria Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in Abuja.

Akpabio praised the student loan bill, signed into law by President Bola Tinubu, for enabling vulnerable Nigerian students to access higher education without financial burdens.

He expressed his personal admiration for the bill, stating it is one of the most important bills passed by the 10th National Assembly.

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has assured the public that every eligible Nigerian student will benefit from the interest-free loan program.

Thee application process will be open, fair, and transparent, without requiring a “godfather,” according to Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, NELFUND’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration.

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