Ibe Kachikwu Accuses Niger Delta Governors of Stealing $40 Meant for Development of the Region
LAGOS AUGUST 26TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources yesterday told Niger Delta Coastal State monarchs and stakeholders that there was no infrastructure in the creek to show for the $40 billion released to the Niger Delta in the last 10 years.
Mr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told the monarchs who visited him in Abuja that he (the minister) went round the creeks and found no infrastructure that reflects the money disbursed to the region through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or the 13 per cent derivation from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Kachikwu who is from Delta State requested the stakeholders to embark on soul searching on the roles of traditional rulers, indigenes of the region and others in the application of the $40billion in 10 years.
According to him, the Federal Government is interested in releasing money for the development of the Niger Delta, if governance and transparency are addressed.
Kachikwu told his guests that unless the issue of transparency in the management of funds is solved before further release of cash, there will be no result.
His words: “If you look at the amount of money that has been out into the Niger Delta over the last 10 years, in papers it is over $40billion. These have come from NDDC; it has come from derivation, it has come from oil companies’ investments.
“Over $40billion, but as I go to the creek, I see no single infrastructure that you can point to to say this is the result for these investments. So what it means is that we must begin to do some soul searching ourselves: where did all this money go to. Who to them, what where they applied for ? What were the roles of our own people and others no necessary from the Niger Delta and how this money was applied .
“Because unless you solve the governance and transparency issue in terms of spending this money it doesn’t matter how much money put into the place you are going to go back to square one.
“So the first fundamental question we must begin to ask now is how are these institutions run? How are these monies placed and what roles do our traditional rulers play in the decision making process on how these projects are supposed to …
“And how can we put a sense of responsibility on delivering on the infrastructural imperative ? So there is a lot of home truth that must happen.”