By Esther Eugene, Warri
A United States of America based Data Analyst and Businessman, Mr. Kingsley Okorodudu, has tasked leaders of Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationalities, threatening to ground Nigeria’s oil and gas sector over “marginalization”, to agitate for decentralization of electricity generation, distribution and supply to regional or state governments, rather than, “fighting for oil blocs, which serve personal interest, to the detriment of the masses.”
Okorodudu who spoke via telephone chat, told Daily Watch that the marginalization cry was a decoy by the agitators to achieve self-seeking business interests, that are not sustainable and would not transcend into overall socio-economic boom of the Niger Delta, particularly Warri South, Warri North and Warri South-West Local Government Areas in Delta State.
While citing the Escravos Gas to Liquid Project, EGTL, the multi-million dollar project in Warri South-West, that created few billionaires and temporary job opportunities, “with nothing to show today in terms of sustainable socio-economic development”, as example, the US based Data Analyst, averred: “The agitation for allocation of Marginal Oil Fields to Itsekiris and Ijaws would be a good course, if only our Niger Delta governors and leaders can tell us what they have been doing with 13% derivation and the statutory monthly allocations they get from the federal government.”
He emphasized: “We have seen so many groups fighting for regional government or true federalism, but to no avail. What I think we need to be agitating for right now, is how we can get control of our power, to enable us create wealth and job opportunities for ourselves, instead of depending on oil that is not TRENDING anymore.
“The issue of EPZ (Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, GRIP Ogidigben) is a welcome innovation, but the question that is begging for answers right now remains; is EPZ and OIL BLOCs allocation sustainable empowerment for the people? The answer is capital NO. what I think we should be fighting for now is regional government and if we cannot get that after due negotiations, then we can settle for power (light) to be run by regional or state governments, because the federal government has failed to provide the needed electricity for our people. That is the only way, we can grow our economy in the right direction. If electricity goes off in the United States for 48hours, several people who are on life support, would die, apart from the devastating socio-economic implication. That is how important uninterrupted 24/7 electricity supply is to any economy or society.
“We need past and present political leaders, traditional leaders, celebrities, all pressure groups, including our present lawmakers to join hands and fight for sustainable economy that we can be proud of. Most of the young men and women that worked at the construction stage of EGTL later sold the little assets they acquired and some are now involved in internet fraud as well as other illegitimate businesses, due to the unsustainable life the project created for them.
According to Okorodudu, the present power generation, distribution and supply chain in Nigeria, encourages fraudulent practices.
“You buy a pole, you buy the cable, you buy the meter and you contribute money to buy or replace the community transformer. As soon as you have done all these, the equipment automatically become their property.
“Then the fraudster electricity distribution companies will, without taking the meter reading, send outrageous estimated bills to you for power never consumed. And if you dare raises a question against their barefaced robbery, they will come and remove the cable you bought with your money as their property.
“Then you will be charged what they call re-connection fee to get your cable fixed back and you will have to bribe their personnel to replace a melted fuse or you will remain perpetually in darkness and still pay the bill at the end of the month.
“The most heinous part of their corporate crime against the people is the revenue target they set for their personnel as to how much they intend to rob Nigerians every month”, he emphasized.