13% DERIVATION: What Ijaw traditional rulers told Delta governor during meeting with DESOPADEC board members
…Demand immediate release of DESOPADEC allocation …Frown at state government’s culture of owing DESOPADEC contractors
…..Say DESOPADEC abandoned projects litter coastal areas of the state
Delta State Ijaw Traditional Rulers Forum (DITRF), has urged the state government to release as at when due, 50 percent of the 13 percent derivation fund accruing to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
They also frowned at the state government’s culture of abandoning projects in the coastal areas of the state.
The monarchs gave the advice on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, during a visit by the DESOPADEC Executive Director, Social Services, Chief Favour Izuokumor and the Commissioner representing Ijaw Ethnic Nationality on the agency’s board, Mr. Spencer Okpoye, at Ugborikoko in Uvwie Council Area.
GbaramatuVoice reports that the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), is an agency created by the enabling Act in Delta state, to secure 50% of the 13% Oil Derivation Fund accruing to Delta State government and the received sum used for rehabilitation and development of oil-producing areas of the state as well as carry out other development projects as may be determined from time to time.
Speaking at the ceremony attended by 10 monarchs, the Chairman of the forum, who is the Ebananaowei of Ogulagha kingdom, HRM Elder (Capt.) Dr. Joseph Timiyan (JP), Agbonu, Torububor 1, said in the past, there were lots of abandoned projects due to failure of the commission to fund some of the projects or inability to pay contractors.
Speaking further, the Ebenanaowei called on the DESOPADEC leadership to key into M.O.R.E AGENDA of Elder Sheriff Oboreivwori led government in the state. He also advised the delegation to always consult the people, particularly the traditional rulers, before inaugurating projects in any given locality.
The first class Ijaw monarch underlined that there are a lot of abandoned projects within the coastal communities by previous leaderships of the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development (DESOPADEC), because the money contractors received from the commission to execute such projects was not enough.
While he frowns at such ugly occurrences, the paramount ruler of the crude oil rich Ogulagha Kingdom lamented that some contractors go to the extent of borrowing money from banks to execute such contracts. A state of affairs he opinined has in the past led to some of these contractors losing their personal properties to banks.
He also appealed to DESOPADEC leadership to make effective and judicious use of the money whenever it is released.
“I will therefore appeal to the state government at this juncture to release the 50% that is accrued to Desopadec and for Desopadec representatives to use it adequately for the purpose it is meant for.”
The Pere of Akugbene-Mein kingdom and 1st vice Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM S.P. Luke Kalanama VIII, appealed for prompt payment to contractors, whose jobs have attained the point to be paid.
He noted that some contractors owe banks and have to sell off their properties to clear loans obtained in order to execute DESOPADEC projects, which ought not to be.
He said with unity among the board members and having served in the interventionist agency in the past, there was no doubt that Chief Izuokumor “already knows the nooks and crannies of the workings of DESOPADEC,” that will ensure each ethnic nationality gets its due.
HRM Charles Ayemi-Botu, paramount ruler and Pere of Seimbiri kingdom, recounted that the traditional rulers were instrumental to the establishment of DESOPADEC, hence they could interface with the state government when there are challenges in the commission.
Speaking with reporters, the ED Social Services, Chief Izuokumor, said with the hope that Delta continues to receive “more 13 per cent derivation,” DESOPADEC “will try to see that contractors’ payment are prioritised”.
The ED added that this means that there must be conducive environment for oil and gas companies to carry out their activities.
He said the cases of abandoned projects and failure to pay contractors were as a result of paucity of funds.
Addressing the monarchs and describing the gathering as “a symbol of unity,” Izuokumor said the aim of visiting was to “acknowledge the fact that without the traditional rulers, there wouldn’t have been DESOPADEC. Today, we are beneficiaries of your agitations. It behooves on us to serve the Ijaw nation”.
The member representing Ijaw Ethnic nation, Hon Okpoye, thanked the traditional rulers for their “support”.
Appealing for more support, he said “we are very much ready to do things differently to make sure dividends of democracy get to every area. We will key into the M.O.R.E agenda of the state governors to ensure that the Ijaw get all they deserve.”
Okpoye disclosed that DESOPADEC budget was being deliberated on, hence the royal fathers should “give directive to your administrative subjects to come out with projects” that the agency will take on and see their completion before the end of their tenure.
He also revealed that DESOPADEC will be going round soon to “verify and inspect” past projects.
Among other royal fathers present were HRM Couple Oromoni Mobene II, Pere Amakosu of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri kingdom and HRM P. S. Erebulu Aduo III, Pere of Kabowei kingdom and Secretary, DITRF; HRM Johnbull Polokowei
Ongolo 1, Pere of Ogbolobiri Mein Kingdom; HRM Jackson Foubiriowei
Angalabiri, Ehbain II, Ebenanaowei of Kumbowei Kingdom; HRM Dr. Ekiomi Owei-Agbe, Ebenanaowei of Oporomo Kingdom; HRM Pere Amb. Meshach E.A. Ubabiri, Bini Pere IV, Agadagba of Egbema and HRM Dr. Danladi Owoupele, Angulu 1, Ebenanaowei of Tarakiri Kingdom.
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