Diri faults current revenue formula, councils as federating unit
An ex-militant group, the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21stCYNDAC), has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to shun detractors plotting to truncate the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) substantive board.
In a statement issued by its Coordinator, ‘General’ Izon Ebi, the group urged Buhari not to be hoodwinked by dissenting voices against the nominated persons and immediate inauguration of the board.
It stressed that the nominated team for the commission, including its Chairman, Bernard Okumagba, was considered after due consultations with Niger Delta leaders and representatives to drive the government’s vision of peace and development of the region.
The group, therefore, said tribal sentiments should not arise over the inauguration of the long-delayed board, stressing that the nominated persons were tested and trusted individuals with proven experience, knowledge and capacity to drive the vision of Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the Federal Government to guarantee peace and development of the region and its people.
MEANWHILE, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has again criticised the revenue sharing formula in Nigeria, saying it was unjust, inadequate and unacceptable, just as he faulted the 13 per cent derivation to oil-producing states.
Speaking at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, yesterday, at the launch of a book titled: The Riddle of The Oil Thief authored by the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo,the governor lamented the injustice in the sharing formula of oil proceeds.
He said the formula denied the people of the state and the Niger Delta region of their resources and the development they deserve and called for its review.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, disclosed that the governor decried the recognition of local governments as federating units against provisions of the 1999 Constitution, a situation he said, had denied Bayelsa State of its resources given the fact that the state has only councils.
Diri advocated the creation of more local government area in the state to resolve some of the imbalances in the sharing formula, noting that in spite of the enormous oil wealth in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta region, its people were either deprived of oil blocs or have not benefited maximally from the oil wealth.
He urged constant dialogue as a way of addressing the issues in the sharing formula, stressing that his administration would continue to advocate for a better deal for the Bayelsa people and the entire region.