Don’t Scrap Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, PANDEF Tells Tinubu  - 9jaflaver

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Don’t Scrap Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, PANDEF Tells Tinubu 

Don’t Scrap Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, PANDEF Tells Tinubu 

The Pan Niger Delta Forum has expressed fear that the administration of President Bola Tinubu may have sidelined the affairs of the Niger Delta following the exclusion of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs during the recently designation of portfolios to ministers-designates.

It also alleged that the Federal Government had squandered resources belonging to the Niger Delta, citing the deplorable state of rural infrastructure in the region.

Reacting to a remark by the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Ogbonnaya Orji, that Nigeria earned $741.5bn and N635.3bn from the oil/gas and solid minerals sectors respectively, between 1999 and 2020, a period of about 21 years, the spokesperson for PANDEF, Ken Robinson, said the recorded funds had not been adequately used for the development of the region.

Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, Robinson explained that though throughout the 21 years, there had been several cases of oil theft, official corruption, under-declaration of exports and all sorts of vices affecting the even distribution of the revenue.

He said, “It is necessary to also use this opportunity to observe that there are 46 ministers that are appointed to assigned ministries, and there is no Ministry of Niger Delta affairs listed. We hope that this government is not attempting to scrap that ministry because the agitation will be serious.”

Robinson also lamented the infrastructural deficits in the Niger Delta region despite its oil resources.

“The government has over the years squandered the resources of the Niger Delta, and of course, the dedication of infrastructure, particularly rural infrastructure in the Niger Delta is worse.

“As we speak, major federal roads in the Niger Delta are almost not motorable. From Warri/Sapele to Benin is something else, and from Port Harcourt to Aba is terrible through the East-West areas. So, there is nothing to show that we earn so much money from oil, particularly in the Niger Delta.

“All there is to show is individuals who have become billionaires, multibillionaires from our oil money. Of course, you can recite a recent statement by the President concerning powerful individuals, unelected powerful individuals who control the oil scam, importation scam,” he added.

Source:- Punch Ng

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