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Published On: Tue, May 9th, 2017

How Okowa Cripples DESOPADEC

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa

By Our Reporter
LAGOS MAY 9TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Despite the enabling law establishing the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission [DESOPADEC] to receive and administer exclusively the 50% of the 13% Oil Derivation funds accruable to the State, the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has continued to underfeed the Commission by withholding monthly federal allocation to the Commission.
According to our source, the Board and Management of the Commission can hardly perform their statutory duties of executing projects and paying salaries as at when due as the Commission is run on cash budget on the orders of the State governor.
Our source further revealed that on a monthly basis, the Governor tips what expenses the Commission should undertake. Apart from salaries and routine administrative duties which come in trickles, no major approvals are done leaving the Board and Management helpless.
Our checks on the monthly allocation to the state reveals an average of between N2 billion and N4 billion in the last four months, yet the governor who is not from an oil producing area withholds the funds and releases an average of N400 million to the Commission to pay salaries and other petty administrative duties.
According to our source,”right now, the Commission is on its knees. The Governor has finally crippled the effective running of the Commission as the Board and Management take orders from the Governor as the Commission is run on cash budget”.
“The Board members perhaps, contributed to the present situation of the Commission. They were reckless in their expenditure at the beginning of their tenure hence the governor is tightening every nut and rendering them incapacitated despite the much touted remodelling after the NDDC”.
Concern has been raised over the increase in the number of Board members of the Commission from nine to fourteen, who parade themselves like Lords over the people they are supposed to represent. For example, each of the Board members has three vehicles and a retinue of aides who do little or nothing yet the sing-song of the management is that the Commission is overstaffed. Despite the enabling law stating that aides of the Board members should be staff of the Commission, this is not often the case.
The introduction of four Executive Directors who together with the Managing Director constitute the Management of the Commission has been criticized by some persons. These Executive Directors do little or nothing and are in fact, doing the jobs of the Heads of Departments. “They add no value to the system” says our source, “other than bullying and intimidating staff and collecting 10% from all payments made. They have no cognate experience for the positions they are holding”.
Others have continued to criticize the State House of Assembly for not doing their work of oversight on the governor over the release of funds to the Commission. The Monday Igbuya led House is largely regarded as a lame duck and a stooge of the governor in preparing the way for a second term.

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