Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa,
Executive Governor of Delta State,
Government House Asaba,
Your Excellency Sir,
REQUEST ABOUT THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BILLION NAIRA (150,000,000,000.00) LOAN AS IT RELATES TO 13% OIL DERIVATION FOR OIL PRODUCING COMMUNITIES IN DELTA STATE
Your Excellency, on behalf of the Oil Producing Communities in Delta State, we greet you for piloting Delta State for the past seven (7) years. Your Excellency 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.
Shortly after the first amendment, Your Excellency seek further amendments wherein you brought in Ika Nation as one of the oil producing ethnic groups in Delta State for an oil well that is yet to commence operation. Again, towards the end of your first term, for political reasons best known to you, you amended the law to empower you to extend the tenure of Board members by Six (6) months or One (1) year. All these amendments to us, is never in the best interest of oil producing communities, rather the over-head cost of the Commission was increased.
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.
Arising from the above, as critical stakeholders and representatives of the people, we demand to know the following:
The sources of repayment of the said credit facilities because it is our right to know how our collective resources are appropriated for the common good of the people.
Since your assumption of office how much has Delta State received as 13% derivation from the Federal Government and the amount released to DESOPADEC
Chief Monday Keme,
Delta Ijaw Oil & Gas Producing Communities
Comrade Morris Anuwo,
Delta Ijaw Oil Producing Communities