Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A lawmaker representing Esan South East /Esan North East Constituency of Edo State in the House of Representatives, Mr. Sergius Ogun, has blamed the lack of â€˜creativityâ€™ on the part of Nigerian governors on the faulty structure of the Nigerian federation.
Ogun, who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during an interview, argued that the governors do not find the need to work because they are sure that â€˜free moneyâ€™ would always come from Abuja at the end of every month.
The parliamentarian, who is also a lawyer, maintained that restructuring remains one of the best ways to unleash the power of creativity of Nigerian leaders, stressing that once Nigeria returns to a truly federal system, the practice of running to Abuja every month will stop.
â€œI agree with restructuring hundred per cent. If you donâ€™t have any need to work and you earn a salary, will you leave the house every morning? Thatâ€™s exactly whatâ€™s happening. Governors all over the country just send their commissioners every month to Abuja and they bring back a cheque,â€ he insisted.
He narrated how a group of investors waited for days to see a Nigerian governor, but couldnâ€™t because the governor was sure money will always come from Abuja.
â€œSometime back, I wanted to see a governor from the North and for four days, I couldnâ€™t see him. We had investors with us that wanted to invest in state. Yet we saw how fruits were falling and wasting everywhere. All these investors wanted to do was to use the fruits as concentrates in some of their products.
â€œBut to see this governor was a problem. If he wasnâ€™t getting free money from the federal government every month, he wouldnâ€™t behave like that. Restructuring is the future,â€ the lawmaker said.
On the Niger Delta problem, the lawmaker asked for more sincerity from the federal government, maintaining that every policy pronouncement must have a timeline for their execution.
He added: â€œI donâ€™tÂ know whether the federal government is being honest. Now we are talking about modular refineries. Is there a timeline. What is the timeline to finish the process.
â€œIt has become a protracted problem. They will do it just to get them (Niger Delta) busy and then they keep taking the oil and selling and when the boys strike again, they promise again.
â€œBeing somebody from the Niger Delta, I will want to know the modalities for the modular refineries operation. If you are saying they are stealing oil, and you now want to give them refineries. How will you go about it.
â€œModular refineries are not cheap. There are two companies right now, Energia and Watersmith, for the past few years they have been trying to get modular refineries. The process is long. You have to work with DPR and others. It takes a minimum of two to three years. Who is going to finance it?, he queried.
Ogun stated thatÂ the easiest way to solve the problem of breaking of pipelines was to have the modular refineries along the pipelines ways so that it would become the responsibility of the youths to police the facilities.