DELTA State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Monday released funds to affected local government areas to purchase food items for the affected communities as part of an effort to cushion the effect of their sufferings.

Concerned youths drawn from the five oil and gas producing communities of Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to compel Delta State government to account for over N2 trillion collected as 13 per cent derivation from 2015 till date.

In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, they recalled that the community fought gallantly under the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that culminated in the establishment of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

The letter signed by Prince Perefa Ebimo- Ijaw, Comrade Itse Okorodudu-Itsekiri, Comrade Ogheneovo Akporode – Urbobo, Comrade Obuke Akpojene – Isoko and Comrade Ossai Odeli- Ndokwa said it is very sad and disheartening to note that under the two boards of DESOPADEC put in place by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa contractors have been denied payment.

The letter reads, “Since his assumption of office in 2015, verifiable data from the Federal Ministry of Finance and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation showed that our Governor has collected over two trillion Naira and by simple calculation the five oil and gas producing mandate areas of Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa ought have collected one trillion Naira as 50% of the sum of two trillion Naira but the situation on ground suggest otherwise.

“According to the published National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, the yearly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 were N130.12bn, N71.95bn, N111.20bn, N213.63bn, N219.28bn, and N186.83bn respectively, bringing the total for the period to N923.01 billion.”

The youths also noted that according to NBS data, the yearly Delta State Internally Generated Revenue for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, January to June 2020 stood at N40.80bn, N44.06bn, N51.89bn, N58.44bn, N64.68bn, and N30.84bn respectively, bringing the total for the period to N290.71bn.

They said the cumulative six years (2015 – 2020) total for FAAC and IGR amounted to N1,213.72bn, that is over N1.2 trillion.

They also pointed out that BudgIT in its analysis of Delta State in the 2020 revised edition of State of States Report, concluded that, Delta State has over the years, not been successful in translating its oil wealth into a vibrant local economy like its sister state, River State which ranks number 1 in the 2020 States Fiscal Sustainability Index. Oil-rich Delta State ranks 23rd, a poor performance influenced largely by a huge recurrent expenditure appetite.

According to them, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Delta State appreciated by only 10.68%, from N58.44bn in 2018 to N64.68bn in 2019.

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