President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Amendment Bill, the FCT Administration budget and other bills, according to his legislative aide.
Ita Enang, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, said this to State House Correspondents on Friday.
According to him, the NDDC Act will mandate gas producing companies to contribute to the funding of the NDDC from 2017.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Amendment Bill, which allows and mandates the gas producing companies to compulsorily contribute funds to the NDDC thus diversifying the sources of funding the NDDC.
“The Act comes into effect in 2017. So from the year 2017 the gas producing companies and all the associated gas companies will be contributing mandatorily to the NDDC.
“Mr President has also assented to the Federal Capital Territory Bill thus legalizing the operations and budget implementation by the Federal Capital Territory Administration.”
Mr Enang said the President also signed the Bill on the FCT Water Board, the Cancer Research Institute Bill, the Prohibition of Torture Bill and the Bill on compulsory treatment of gun victims, among others.
He added that a lot of other bills passed recently which processes had been completed had just been transmitted to the President by the National Assembly for assent.
The Presidential Aide also spoke on the one billion dollars approved by governors for the Federal Government to tackle insecurity saying that the money had yet to be drawn down.
He stated that before drawing the amount the approval of the National Assembly would be sought after through an appropriation process.
He said that if the process was completed before the passage of the 2018 appropriation bill the amount could be disbursed but, if not, Mr Buhari would submit it as part of Supplementary Bill for passage by the NASS.
“No money in law can be taken from there and spent without appropriation and that is not contemplated.
“Before appropriation is sent, details have to be obtained as to what the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Navy component, what other support services, the intelligence community, need.
“It is the details of the needs that Mr President will forward but I am aware that the appropriate authorities are working on the details of how it will be applied so that the details will be tied together,” he said.
He said that thereafter, the NASS would be apprised of it before being forwarded as appropriation amendment or further input to the 2018 appropriation.
The legislative aide stated that the President and members of the executive would not do anything unlawful adding that the matter would not be laid before the legislature now as the processes had yet to be completed.
“Until the processes are completed and the details of how it would be applied by each of the services and other matters, that is when the NASS would be apprised,” he added.
Mr Enang also addressed the concerns of some governors on the fund saying that security matters do not recognised parties, religions or individuals, and could put the entire country into trouble if not well tackled.
He cited instances such as when the OPC problem in the South-West and the militancy in the South-South cropped up and the entire country came together to resolve the impasse.
He said it was through such processes that the Niger Delta Ministry and the Amnesty office were created as well as the removal of on shore off shore dichotomy which placed more money in the South-South states.
He appealed to those criticizing the move to consider that the entire country was being affected by various kinds of insurgency adding that the amount would be used to solve many of the national security challenges.