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Bayelsa Gov. recommends additional Local Govt. creation for revenue formula correction

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has recommended that the creation of additional local governments across Nigeria would help address and put an end to agitations that had trailed the current revenue sharing formula in the country.

Diri added that the additional councils would increase allocations received by states from the revenues shared monthly particularly across the Niger Delta region where Nigeria’s major source of revenue, crude oil, was currently been explored without commensurable development.

The governor, who described the current revenue sharing formula as unjust, inadequate, and unacceptable, faulted the 13 percent derivation paid to oil-producing states by the Federal Government, arguing that it was inadequate.

He made the recommendations at launch of “The Riddle of The Oil Thief”, a book authored by the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, held in Yenegoa, the state capital.

While lamenting that the sharing formula of proceeds from oil represented injustice, the governor also demanded a review, saying the formula denied the Niger Delta region of their resources and the development they deserve.

He noted with sadness that despite the enormous oil wealth in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta, very few sons of the region have oil blocs nor have benefited immensely from the oil wealth.

“The current revenue sharing formula is totally unacceptable to us as a people. We cannot have 100 percent of our own resources and 13 percent of what we don’t even know is being given to us while 87 percent is taken away by the Federal Government. That is not fair. That is injustice and we would continue to preach against that”.

Diri, meanwhile, called for constant dialogue as a way of addressing the issues in the sharing formula of the country, stressing that his administration would continue to advocate for a better deal for the people of the state and region.

The governor, who commended the author of the book, which he said captured the story of the people of the state and other oil-bearing communities in the region, suggested that the book be introduced into the curriculum of senior classes of post-primary schools to enable everyone people to understand history and politics of oil as it affected the region and the state.

“I am happy today that with all of our struggles, you have been able to put pen to paper. A philosopher once said, write your story before your ink dries up. Today, you have written our story, the story of Bayelsa and Niger Delta.

“This book will bridge the existing gaps of our story as a state and as an ethnic nationality in Nigeria. It is on this note that I direct all senior secondary classes in post-primary schools to adopt this book in their curriculum. The reason has been that our children should know the history of oil politics as it affects us and the larger Nigerian state.”

In his remarks, the author, Bubaraye Dakolo, said his decision to write the book was borne out of his desire to tell the story of the suffering and deprivation suffered by the people of the Niger Delta with a view to addressing the injustice.

The first-class traditional ruler lamented the misuse of oil resources, which he said would have solved the problems of the region and country if properly used, and called for psychological clean-up of the people of the region who have suffered decades of neglect.

Earlier, chairman of the occasion, Gesi Asamowei, who decried the continuous degradation of the Niger Delta region, lauded the author for documenting the story of the people of the region.

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