Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader and convener of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has asked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta to spend more of the 13 percent derivation funds on oil-producing communities.
Clark, in a statement on Thursday, alleged that the 13 percent derivation funds received by the state government were mismanaged.
He described Okowa’s administration as a “reign of unaccountability”.
The 13 percent derivation fund comes from the federation account to oil-producing communities through the state governments as enshrined in section 162, sub-section 2 of the Nigerian constitution.
Clark said the state government has not spent the derivation funds on foremost areas and projects but rather on “favoured areas”.
The elder statesman argued that the funds ought to be spent on oil-producing communities’ schools and projects in the state.
He also asked that records of the funds be released to the public.
“The inclusion of the three state higher institutions recently converted by the Delta state government does not qualify under the scheme. There are other three higher institutions that qualify for this conversion in Warri, Burutu, and Agbor,” Clark said.
“You chose Agbor in order to carry out your secret agenda of establishing a University in your village in Owa-Alero. Today, no new building has been constructed in the old College of Education, Agbor.
“The new Osadebey university Asaba used to be part of Delta state university, while it is now singled out to be qualified for the 13 percent derivation, instead of using the monthly allocation and internally generated revenue (IGR), accrued to the state. Why is the old Delta state university, Abraka which is oil-producing, not qualified? Asaba is not qualified because they are not producing oil.
“Ozoro polytechnic which has recently been upgraded to University is qualified because they produce oil, but no new building has been erected since the conversion of the Institution. It was expected that the school of Marine Technology in Burutu which is of the same status as the College of Education, Agbor, and College of Education, Warri would also be upgraded to university level even though; they produced oil in their area.
“We are therefore demanding that the Delta state government should produce the record and amount of 13 percent of funds spent on these projects because failure will allow us to produce our records. In fact, all educational institutions, ranging from tertiary institutions in Delta state are provided for in the yearly budget of Delta state, and they have nothing to do with 13 percent derivation funds.
STOP THE NEPOTISM, GIVE RECORDS
The Ijaw leader asked the governor to stop favouring certain parts of the state at the expense of others, and come out clean on his financial record concerning the 13 percent derivation.
He said Okowa must ensure that all deserving and other communities benefit from the funds.
“Is it not fraudulent by the Delta state commissioner of finance, who stated that N5 billion from the 13 percent derivation is used for payment of pensioners for both state and local government workers? We are therefore requesting the governor of Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa, how much has been spent on the various projects above and what part of 13 percent derivation has been spent on them?, Clark asked Okowa.
“In your usual parochial, nepotic attitude and character, you amended the constitution of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to bring in more oil-producing communities in Delta state including your local government area, Ika, to expand the number of members in the commission to other areas of the state that are not producing oil.
“Section 2 of the Principal Law was amended by inserting “Ika” after the word Isoko in the interpretation of the ethnic nationalities”.
“According to Delta State Gazette, “Ethnic nationalities mean the Ijaws, Itsekiris, Urhobos, Isokos and Ndokwas from Delta State. By your interpretation or definition of the ethnic nationalities, you decided to include Ika, which is your ethnic nationality, whereas, there are more ethnic nationalities in Delta north and not Ika alone. Other ethnic nationalities in Delta north are; Oshimili north and south, Aniocha north and south.
“It may be too late, but finally, I wish to again advise you not to reduce Warri to a deserted village as Chief Onanefe Ibori did to Sapele, as he removed most of the offices from Sapele to Oghara, his hometown. This is exactly what you are carrying out now.
“I can see you smiling at Alhaji Atiku Abubakar when you said that Owa-Alero was your humble small village and that it is now a big town. The question is, with whose money?”
Leave a Reply