Oil-producing communities under the aegis of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSCON, has accused past and present governors of the Niger Delta of mismanaging the 13 per cent Derivation funds totalling N12 trillion over 18 years.
In an interview with Vanguard in Abuja, President of HOSCON, Mike Emuh, lamented that despite the huge allocation to the region over these years, there was not a single evidence of the utilization of the fund for the betterment of the people and the communities.
He called on the President to henceforth, cease paying the funds to the state governors and should instead, set up a committee, commission or Board that would oversee the release of the 13% Derivation money to oil-producing communities.
He said: “No law in the country states that 13 per cent derivation fund should be given to state governments. The President should set up a committee, commission or a Board that would manage the derivation money. It should be removed from the hands of the governors.
“The money the governors are controlling today do not belong to them, it belongs to the host communities. The money should be removed from the hands of the governors and given to the host communities to manage.
“These governors have manage the 13% derivation fund for 16 to 18 years, over N12 trillion, yet we do not see the evidence of it in the Niger Delta. According to the law, the money belongs to the host communities, not to the state or local governments.”
Mr Emuh also accused politicians of fuelling militancy in the Niger Delta region, stating that these unscrupulous individuals had perpetually under-developed the region for their own selfish interest.
He said: “The militancy that was experienced in the Niger Delta was caused by politicians, not by traditional rulers, not by host communities’ leaders.
“The boys have come to realize that. We spoke to them to stop whatever was illegal towards oil installations in the Niger Delta. For over one year now, they have listened to us and there is relative peace in the region at the moment.
“The youth would no longer listen to the politicians, because they had been disappointed. They cannot even listen to the former militants and those that call themselves former warlords, who were getting these things for themselves.”