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Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2024

Group Demands Scrapping Of DESOPADEC, Ex-Govs Pensions, Urges EFCC To Probe Its Account

DESOPADEC LOGO

LAGOS MAY 21ST (URHOBOTODAY)-Considering the present economic realities bedeviling the country, a group, the Alliance for Good Governance and Accountability in Government , has urged Governor Sheriff Oborevwori and the state House of Assembly to immediately scrapped the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission,  DESOPADEC, and the abolition of the obnoxious pension law for ex-governors and their deputies in Delta State.

In a statement in Warri over the weekend,,the President and Secretary of the group, Dr Isreal Avworitefe and Mrs Rebecca Edema respectively, said: ” the creation of DESOPADEC in 2007 as an interventionist agency dedicated to ensuring peace, security and better life for the oil bearing communities has outlived itself as the commission has now been turned into a corruption cesspit by successive governments “.

According to the group , the commission’s accounts have not been audited in the last 20 years and presented for public scrutiny but rather people with questionable backgrounds are appointed to the board to amass wealth without any commensurate impact on the oil bearing communities, noting that the governors use the commission to fund election and to settle political scores

“Over the years, the quality of appointees to the board has lowered as motor park touts are being appointed into such sensitive board while the staff are suffering as long as the governor is being settled. For example, the current board has a member who was previously sacked by the commission for want of valid certificates but now appointed as a commissioner in the board. We also regret the manner in which heads of departments are appointed without due process as junior officers are promoted above their seniors “.

The group called on the governor to urgently scrapped the commission and return the staff to the state civil service for better productivity as only a few corrupt persons are benefiting from the commission.

“We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to thoroughly probe the accounts of the commission since inception to  ascertain what has acrued to the commission and what has been expended on projecs since then.”

In another breath, the group also called on the governor , to begin the process of  abrogating the pension law for ex-governors and their deputies, citing the recent example of Abia state.

According to the group, Delta State cannot continue to pay pension to ex-governors when legitimate pensioners hardly get their pensions as at when due,stating that in any case, these ex-governors are not hungry men who would depend on pension to survive as their continued payment now constitute a huge financial burden to the state.

The group said if the state government refused to heed to their demands, they will have no other option but to sue them to court as the state government is choking under a heavy debt burden inherited from the eight years administration of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.

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