Reps disagree with Senate, pass bill to include Anambra in NDDC


The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill to include Anambra State in the newly constituted Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board.

The bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for inclusion of Anambra State as an Oil Producing State and for Related Matters (HBs. 154 & 857)” was sponsored by Rep. Paschal Agbodike and Rep. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi.

Presenting the lead debate on the bill at the plenary on Thursday, Ozodinobi said, oil had been found and was being exploited in Anambra State, adding that Anambra had been receiving 13% derivation as an oil producing state while its name was not mentioned in the NDDC Act.

He noted that, since the state faced the same ecological problems especially land degradation like the Niger Delta oil producing states, its interest should no longer be tangential in the Act.

According to him, while the Act spelt out states to be considered within its purview, it was merely tangential in providing for the interests of other states where oil can be found in the future which are not necessarily within the Niger Delta region.

Speaking with newsmen later that day, Hon. Pascal disclosed the reason he sponsored the bill. He said “Permit me to mention that following a decade of hard work by industry experts from Anambra State in collaboration with past administrations, Anambra State was officially recognised as a petroleum-bearing and oil-producing state on July 27, 2021, by the revenue mobilisation allocation and fiscal commission at its 139th plenary session.

“Niger Delta Development Commission has a standing committee here in the House of Reps. and I’m the one representing Anambra. Having read the act that established Niger Delta Development Commission and knowing that Anambra state has crude oil. Also, knowing what qualifies other states to become a member of NDDC. I think it is due for us to be admitted as a member of NDDC.

“Presently, oil and gas exploration activities are all over communities in Anambra State where oil deposits are found in large quantity this includes but not limited to, Orient Petroleum, which has capacity to produce about 55,000 barrels per day, IBETO (First Modular Systems Gas Limited FMSGL) gas processing plant in Omasi and Umueje communities of Ayamelum LGA Anambra state”

Recall that a similar bill was rejected at the Senate earlier on Wednesday. It was rejected after it was brought on the floor by Senator Tony Nwoye who in his lead debate argued that Anambra State as an oil-producing state deserved to have membership in the NDDC.

However, senators who argued against the bill said, states like Kogi and Lagos that have oil were also not covered by the NDDC.

Responding to how he felt about the rejection from the senate, Hon.Pascal said that one of the qualities of law making is lobbying and he is optimistic that the bill will be brought up again on the floor of the senate and be given a fair hearing.