The cry of marginalisation and underdevelopment by communities in oil producing areas in Delta State will not abate until there is equity in the allocation and management of the derivation funds meant to address specific development needs of the oil communities.
A member of the Federal Republic Ethnic Council of Nigeria (FRECON) representing Itsekiri Nationality in Warri, Delta State, Prince Emmanuel Oyibo, stated this while fielding questions from newsmen after the group’s meeting in Warri Saturday.
Oyibo, who is the secretary of the Itsekiri Ethnic Council for Oil Producing Communities, blamed the series of crises that have denied oil producing areas of the envisaged development on meddlesome politicians and community leaders. He disclosed that it was the desire of the council members to ensure that in future only oil producing communities determined who among them must be appointed into the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
Due to the activities of this selfish group, the 50 percent of the 13 percent Derivation Fund set aside for development projects in the oil communities through DESOPADEC has not impacted significantly on the lives of these communities, he lamented.
Oyibo, who spoke on behalf of members of the working committee of the ethnic council, noted’ “if full accounts are tendered or rendered on projects and programmes executed by the state and local governments, NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission) and companies operating in the Niger-Delta region” lack of transparency and corruption would be greatly reduced.
While expressing their confidence in the Federal Government, he called on them to intervene so that the 10 percent of the derivation fund meant for ensuring local security in the oil producing areas was released regularly.
The group claimed that the 10 percent of the Derivation Fund meant for organizing local security had not been released for two months, saying members have been tasking themselves to meet basic financial needs.