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Senate rejects inclusion of Anambra in NDDC member states

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The mace has been returned to the Senate by DIG Operations

The Senate has rejected the inclusion of Anambra State in the membership of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. 

Senators Tony Nwoye (LP Anambra North) and Jibrin Isah, also known as Echocho (APC Kogi East), got into a heated dispute during the session on Wednesday.

In his lead debate on the bill seeking an amendment to the NDDC Act to include Anambra State as an oil-producing state, Nwoye argued that Anambra deserved membership in the NDDC because it has been collecting 13% derivation since 2021 due to the significant volume of oil produced annually.

However, the majority of senators who contributed to the bill’s consideration for a second reading rejected his rationale because states with oil wells, including Kogi and Lagos, are not covered by NDDC activities despite producing oil.

Echocho specifically stated that the NDDC, as the name implies, is a regional or geographical intervention organization rather than only for oil-producing nations.

The member claimed that his state has also been collecting 13% derivation as an oil-producing state, to which Nwoye responded that the paper he provided proved that Anambra, not Kogi, has been collecting 13% derivation.

Nwoye said, “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 the NDDC.

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

In defense of his state, Echocho advised Nwoye to keep his argument to Anambra State and let the Senate decide the destiny of his measure.

He also challenged him, claiming that Kogi has been collecting the derivation 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% derivation since October 2022.”

In an attempt to defuse tensions, Senate President Godswill Akpabio stated that if Nwoye’s argument for Anambra State’s proposed membership in the NDDC is accepted by the Senate, Lagos State, which has two oil wells in Badagry, will also seek membership in the commission.

Akpabio responded to Nwoye’s statement that, even if the NDDC is deemed a geographical or regional interventionist entity, Anambra State qualifies for membership due to its proximity to the Niger Delta area.

He consequently scheduled a second reading of the bill for voice voting, with nays from Senators opposed to its approval overshadowing the ayes.

The bill was subsequently dropped by the Senate.

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