By Tony Akowe and Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has denied removing any project or inserting any project to the 2019 budget of the commission.
Tunji-Ojo, who was reacting to allegation by the Executive Director, Project of the Interim Management Committee, Cairo Ojuogoh, described it as mere blackmail, which will not help anyone.
According to him: “I have said this before and I am repeating again, no project was removed from the 2019 proposed budget.
“For the record, when they brought the 2019 budget, they overstated their revenue by over N63 billion.
“I am certain you understand that appropriation is done in line with the realities of revenue and that is what we have done. It is sad that they keep exposing their incompetence.
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“The budget they brought was N409 billion. But in line with the reality of the revenue, we reduced it to about N346 billion.
“Did Dr. Cairo participate in the budget defence? You know that all the blackmail and mudslinging is just a way of distracting Nigerians from the realities on the ground.”
The legislator added: “How can you say we replaced when no item was removed? Replaced with what? Perhaps they need lessons in grammar.
“To the best of my knowledge, not a single item was removed from the budget. Did he participate in the budget defence to know what took place?
“We asked for budget performance in March and they submitted it late June. Anywhere in the world, that should not take more than 72 hours. If you are not cooking figures, why do you need three months to prepare budget performance?