The Ijaw Youths Council(IYC) has frowned at the slow pace of development in the Niger Delta region due to the lack of adequate funding from the federal government and the refusal of the oil companies in the region meeting up to their own financial obligations as enshrined in the NDDC act.
Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, the Spokesman of the IYC, in a statement in Yenagoa stated that instead of focusing on effective ways of funding the NDDC for proper development of the region, the federal government is busy playing politics with the development of the region and turning its inefficiency into a soap opera of brouhaha and distractive serial distractions in the media space.
He said the FG and the IOCs are culpable for not meeting up to their financial obligations as enshrined in the NDDC act which could’ve accelerated development, create jobs and sustain the existing relative peace in the once volatile region.
According to Comr. Ebilade Ekerefe, “The Ijaw Youths Council frowns seriously at the federal government for using proxy’s to divert the attention of our people from asking the real questions of adequate funding of the NDDC which has become a bane to the region’s development in recent years.
“The international oil companies which are supposed to pay royalties to the Commission as enshrined in the NDDC act are collaborating with outsiders who wants our region to be perpetually underdeveloped.
“As we speak today, there are backlogs of projects completed by indigenous contractors whose monies have not been paid by the Commission due to lack of funding. How do you want these people to survive when most of them are breadwinners of their families and communities?
“You can’t continue to treat the development of the Niger Delta with kid gloves and expect us to be quiet when the North East Development Commission is uninhibitedly funded.
“This nonsense in this country must stop. We are equal partners in the Nigerian project and every region should be treated equally.
You cannot accelerate the funding of developmental projects in the North and keep our region helplessly even after all our contributions to the economic survival of this country, the East-West road is still wallowing in a deplorable state even after Twenty Billion Naira (#20B)was approved by the federal government, but up till now, nothing to show.
“The rains are here and communities in the Niger Delta are been washed away as a result of the flooding and the erosions. The NDDC is a major interventionist agency that gives succour to our people in their most challenging times. When you stifle the funds of the Commission, you are indirectly creating more hardship and youth restiveness on the land.”