Home CRIME N150B loan: Ijaw Oil host communities accuse Gov. Okowa sharp practices

N150B loan: Ijaw Oil host communities accuse Gov. Okowa sharp practices

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Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and Chief Keme Monday

By Cletus Opukeme,  Warri

 

Delta Ijaw Oil and Gas Producing Communities has frowned at the State Government on the non-compliance of the 50% of the 13% derivation funds that accruing to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), adding that it has affected the Commission in terms of fulfilling its mandate as regards to infrastructural development.
The Ijaw oil host communities accused the State Government under the leadership of Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa for not remitting what was meant for the commission for the past seven (7) years of his administration, noting “We know as a fact that despite the reasons given as responsible for drastic reduction as it relates to the 13% derivation, the Federal Government have not defaulted in meeting up with its responsibility in releasing 13% derivation to the respective States in last seven (7) years you became Governor of Delta State.”

This was contained in a statement by the President and the Secretary of the Delta Ijaw Oil and Gas Producing Communities, Chief Monday Keme, and Comrade Morris Anuwo, and made available to our Correspondent.
The host communities also accused the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led Government and the State House Assembly for non implementation of law replacing “secretary” with Managing Director as well as introduction of the office of “Executive Directors” in the Commission. It further noted that the State Government conniving with the State House of Assembly for reducing the power of ethnic representatives (commissioners) from full-time to part-time members and transferred such powers to the Managing Director in total disregard to the ethnic nationalities.
The president and ethnic scribe also frowned at the inclusion of Ika North as member of the oil producing communities which they described as a fraud, which according to them the amendments of the laws was never in the best interest of oil producing communities, rather the over-head cost of the Commission was increased to serve the state government’s selfish interest.
The oil host communities expressed dismay on the repayment plan by the state Government of the One Hundred and Fifty Billion naira loan facility which will be paid back from shortfalls of the 13% derivation fund arising from Court judgement.
They said; “Your Excellency, by the law establishing DESOPADEC, the Commission is entitled to have not less than One Hundred Billion naira from the estimated Two Hundred Billion naira shortfalls due Delta State which your Government allegedly used to address other Government needs to the detriment of Oil Producing Communities in Delta State.”
They demanded vivid explanation of the sources of loan repayment of the credit facilities stating that it is the right of the host communities to know how the collective resources are appropriated for the common good of the people.
The Ijaw oil host communities also demands the total amount the State Government has received as 13% derivation from the Federal Government and the amount released to DESOPADEC since inception of his administration.
The statement reads in part; “Your Excellency, you will recall that the Ijaws in particular have been agitating for fair share of Resources, especially crude oil in Niger Delta and which efforts have yielded the creation of intervention agencies by Government. Worthy of note is the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the Federal level and the establishment of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC). In the case of DESOPADEC, the law establishing the Commission clearly states that the Government of Delta State is to RELEASE MINIMUM OF 50% of the 13% derivation due to the State to the Commission. This provision from our findings is not complied with especially under your Government in the past seven (7) years. We learnt your sited quite a number of certain prevailing factors to back up your claim of not being able to release 50% of 13% derivation as at when due to the Commission and this has affected the Commission in terms of fulfilling its mandate as regards to infrastructural development.
“We know as a fact that despite the reasons given as responsible for drastic reduction as it relates to the 13% derivation, the Federal Government have not defaulted in meeting up with its responsibility in releasing 13% derivation to the respective States in last seven (7) years you became Governor of Delta State. Your Excellency upon assumption of office, quickly amended the Commission’s law by replacing “Secretary” with “Managing Director” as well as introduction of the office of “Executive Directors”. As critical stakeholders, we made our inputs to the State House of Assembly which were never considered as the amendment were done against all known legislative practice to mankind. In that amendment, your Excellency reduced powers of ethnic representatives (Commissioners) from full time members to part-time members and transferred such powers to the Managing Director in total disregard to the ethnic nationalities.
“Your Excellency, we know as a fact that in running a successful Government, loan is an imperative necessity, but then the purpose and source of repayment is paramount because the loan or credit facility as bankers may call it is granted to enable Government meet certain obligation. Just as you informed Deltans recently during tour of some Government projects under construction as regards to another loan of Twenty-Five Billion naira (25,000,000,000.00), you stated clearly that the loan is for Palm Oil Farmers Association and that the State Government is only guarantor and we all know what it means to be a guarantor. Furthermore, we were informed that the One Hundred and Fifty Billion naira loan, part of it (N25,000,000,000.00) is to pay pensioners and balance for infrastructure. But recently, we were informed that the One Hundred and Fifty Billion naira loan is to be paid back from shortfalls of the 13% derivation fund arising from Court judgement.
“It was estimated that not less than Two Hundred Billion naira (N200,000,000,000.00) is due to Delta State from the 13% derivation as result of accounting errors on the part of the Federal Government in the last couple of years. That it is this shortfalls that your Government is expecting from the Federal Government that was used for the One Hundred and Fifty Billion naira loan. That the recent Twenty Five Billion naira loan which you claimed the Delta State Government is only a guarantor is to be settled from part of the accumulated 13% derivation, which now brings the total loan (credit facility) to One Hundred and Seventy-Five Billion naira (N175,000,000,000.00). The interest alone of these credit facilities are more than Thirty-Five Billion naira (N35,000,000,000.00) which tends to fall within the estimated not less than Two Hundred Billion naira due to Delta State from the 13% derivation.
“Your Excellency, by the law establishing DESOPADEC, the Commission is entitled to have not less than One Hundred Billion naira from the estimated Two Hundred Billion naira shortfalls due Delta State which your Government allegedly used to address other Government needs to the detriment of Oil Producing Communities in Delta State”, it stated.

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