The governors of Niger Delta states have again come under hammer as a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Dagogo Farah has accused them of misusing and wasting the thirteen percent derivation allocated to them from oil sales.
The lawmaker from Rivers State said this in aninterview with newsmen on Thursday. “This is a very sad commentary as itrelates to the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta.
The 13 percent Derivation is the fund set aside to assist oil-producing communities to tackle infrastructural decay and degradation, emphasis on the oil-producing communities.
“What it means basically is that in sharing the federation account revenue, 13 percent should be set aside to assist the development of these oil-producing communities.
“About two decades down the line what is there to show for the humongous monies that have come in? The Governors, past, and present, view it as free monies”, he said.
The federal legislator, also accused the Governor’s, of wasting N10 trillion from the derivation fund in 8 years. “Between 2000 and 2018, over N10trillion from the 13 percent derivation principle, have been shared to the Niger Delta Governors, on behalf of the oil-producing communities.
However, the deplorableliving conditions of the people from these oil-producing communities haveremained nauseating and deplorable with the people battling and still reekingwith the worst and highest form of poverty.
“For instance in RiversState where I come from, oil-producing communities that are in the riverineareas, have been begging for the Trans-Kalabari ring road to connect theriverine communities, where the oil-producing communities are located, with theuplands areas and fasten development”, he claimed.
According to him, “This ring road alone willconnect the oil-producing communities with other areas of the state and easethat problem of mobility.
“If you are very versed with the Niger Delta region or with Rivers State, you understand the economic value that comes with this road. “Regrettably, it has become fashionable to use it as campaign promises and abandon it on the assumption of power”.
According to him, “This project will cost less than N30billion and could signify proof that the 13 percent Derivation fund is actually being utilized for the oil-producing communities as it was spelled out.
“Unfortunately, the Governors are rather moreinterested in superfluous and white elephant projects that could be used toembezzle funds.
“Conduct an investigation to these areas,these oil-producing communities and you will weep when you gauge their abjectliving conditions with what had been allocated for them.
No electricity, no drinking water, no roads, total lack of basic amenities”. He further explained that “For instance, oil-producing communities, through their state governors, received N602.37 billion as their 13 percent derivation fund from the Federal Government between January 2017 and April 2018.
“Imagine the positiveeffects a whopping N602.37 billion would have on the lives of the people andits communities if a fraction of these monies were channelled towards thedevelopment of these communities?”.
The legislator also accused the Federalgovernment of encouraging the waste of resources in the oil-producing states.“And there is this grand conspiracy of silence from the Federal Government.
Why are the rightquestions not being asked? “What is the true state of the suspicious financialhanky panky in the actual production and cost as it relates to the figures theInternational Oil Companies reel out?
“Why are the IOCs allowed to do their costing in dollars with appalling disregard for the currency of the country they operate in especially when the 13 percent is derived through them?
“How could the people from these communities be left in such a sorry state and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.
The Governors, who receive these funds on behalf of them, have been indifferent to their plight and have established a line that they would rather fill their pockets with the funds and continue to live large than commit such to the development of the communities.
“I challenge any Governor from the Niger Deltaoil-producing communities to explain, with irrefutable facts, how they haveactually used the derivation funds to better the lives of the people and theiroil-producing communities.
“Their explanations could only be imagined asIt would only amount to looking for a needle in a haystack, it will not produceanything concrete. “However, I strongly believe it is never too late to correctthe wrongs of the past.
I have a positive conviction that this set ofgovernors will side on the right side of history and do justice to the revenuesthey are getting on behalf of the oil-producing communities”.