Delta state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said that the clamour for an upward review of the 13 percent revenue derivation fund and the attendant disagreements at the ongoing National Conference has not forestalled the gains of people of the oil and gas rich Niger Delta region.
He said that although the position of the people in the region is to gain full rights for the control of their god-given resources, there is also the need to understand the position of people from other regions who are also seeking to earn from their own resources.
The Governor, at a media briefing in Asaba on Friday, July 11, 2014 noted that the current negotiation between 18 and 25 percent over derivarion fund at the National Conference, had also necesitated some interraction among governors and members of the National Assembly from the region with a resolve to insist on the 25 percent peg.
He commended members of the National Conference for their maturity in handling the issue of the derivation fund, saying that despite the stalemates, it has not resulted to violence, adding that the differences would further ensure that the derivation principle on natural resources is meaningfully spelt out for the interest of the people.
“The committee from both sides are meeting and discussing and that is what it should be. Give and take. We come from separate positions and meet somewhere. We share our separate requests and we meet at a point that is convenient for us all, and I think that is where they are going to.
“We should allow the negotiation process to continue. It is good for us as a country, it is good for democracy. That is also a table in negotiating in the best interest of the people because at the end of the day we must also realise that we are in the same country and there must be some balancing.”
Speaking on the present spate of insecurity in Nigeria, Governor Uduaghan said the raging terrorists insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country has a major socio-political and economic effect on all Nigerians and urged Deltans to remain vigilant on suspicious security situation, in a bid to forestall any unforeseen attack by terrorists.
While acknowledging that there is an influx of internally displaced persons from the troubled North Eastern Nigeria into Delta state, the Governor warned that the state government would not hesitate to deal with persons who engages in acts of insecurity in the state, adding that the state government has intensified efforts to ensure that illegal immigrants are sent parking.
He also encouraged Deltans to evolve a neighbourhood policing strategy by devising a means of ascertaining the kind of people they live and associate with, just as he revealed that the state government has introduced the “Know Your Neighbour” campaign to deal with security threats.
Governor Uduaghan who said his administration would not relent in dealing with security challenges in all fronts also spoke on the recent communal clash between Ibabu and Iselegu Communities in Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East Local Government Areas of the state, disclosing that the state government had risen up to the challenge by ensuring a mop-up of illegal weapons in the areas.
He also said that a judicial commission of inquiry would soon be set up to ascertain the cause of the crisis to nip it in the bud and find a lasting solution to the communal feud.
On the abating crisis in Warri South West local government, location of the $ 16bn Gas City Project, Governor Uduaghan, who emphasised that the efforts of his administration has ensured that things are going on smoothly at the project site to ensure its completion on schedule, revealed that a committee headed by the his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) has been set up to ensure truce between the warring factions made up of the Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities.
Meanwhile, in his desire to complete most of the ongoing infrastructure projects in the state, Governor Uduaghan said that the state government has intensified efforts to ensure their completion, especially in the education sector, even as he said that a few set-backs occasioned by the early rains had slowed down the pace of work in the construction of some roads projects across the state.