The House of Representatives has mandated the Committee on Niger-Delta Development Commission to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the financial activities of the commission in the last three years.
This was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of Urgent Matter of Public Importance by Hon. Benjamin Kalu at plenary on Tuesday.
The House resolved to invite the Minister of Niger-Delta and the Board of NDDC to explain why the commission had been spending monies which were not appropriated for, by the National Assembly.
Moving the motion earlier, Kalu said that spending monies not appropriated for, was in violation of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Kalu said that it also contravened the Niger-Delta Development Commission Act of 2000 (As Amended).
The lawmaker explained that the NDDC was established with a clear mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
According to him, the NDDC is charged with the responsibility among others to conceive and formulate policies, guidelines and comprehensive master plan.
Kalu said that the NDDC had lived up to its responsibility in developing a plan covering key sectors ranging from Agriculture, Health and Environment to Energy, Telecommunications and Transport among others.
According to him, this has resulted into substantial expenditures including the awards of huge contracts.
Quoting Section 80(3) and (4) of the Constitution, Kalu said “no money shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those money have been authorised by an Act of the National Assembly.
“Money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly,” he said.
According to him, it makes it explicitly mandatory for the National Assembly to authorise any and all manner of expenditures from all public funds of the Federation, including the funds of the NDDC.
The lawmaker said that the Board of the commission was mandated to submit to the National Assembly, an estimate of the expenditure and income of the commission during the next succeeding year for approval not later than September 30, each year.