The Niger Delta Youth Parliament (NDYP) has demanded the establishment of an Oil-Producing Development Commission in Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa state, and Rivers state, respectively.
During its Special Plenary Session, NDYP made a clarion call to the Governments of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Rivers States to immediately establish a development commission for the oil-producing communities in their respective states. This is intended to enable them to benefit from the 13% derivation that accrues to the states for the purpose of rapid development.
NDYP has prayed that the Federal Government mandate the affected states to immediately establish the Oil-Producing Development Commission for the benefit of the people.
“The Federal Government should halt the payment of the 13% Oil derivative to the affected states until the said commission is established.
“The Parliament should constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to interface with the Federal Government and the affected state Governments.”
In a statement issued by its speaker, Rt. Hon. Ifon Daniel Samuel, a critical assessment and oversight of the condition of the various oil-bearing and producing communities have shown the deplorable state and absence of basic amenities needed for conducive living in these communities.
“It is pitiable that a region so blessed by God, with funds released for the purpose of taking care of the communities, has seen no action taken to address the developmental challenges in these various communities.
“I charge the Governors and State Assemblies of the Affected States to commence the process of establishing the Oil Producing Communities Development Commission without further delay.
“This commission has already been established in other oil-producing states such as Ondo, Delta, Imo, Edo, and Abia State. It is fulfilling its purpose. Therefore, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and River State, being among the topmost oil-producing states in Nigeria, should not be an exception to this visible reality and the benefits it will bring to the oil-producing communities.
“These oil-producing communities and local governments hold vast amounts of oil minerals and gas, hosting a variety of petroleum facilities and installations including wellheads, pipelines, rigs, marginal fields, storage tanks, offshore and onshore acreages, production and export terminals, among others.
“A visit to these communities will reveal the dire state of extreme deprivation of common and basic amenities. Despite their contribution to the growth and sustainability of the Nigerian economy, they lack these amenities.
“It would be an act of wickedness, insensitivity, and inhumanity for the state governments to refuse to establish these commissions—AISOPADEC, BASOPADEC, and RISOPADEC—even when there is clear evidence of environmental degradation and a lack of basic amenities in the host communities due to the activities of oil companies.
“It is extremely worrisome that since the Federal Government began implementing the 13 per cent derivation as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution, a few states in the region have failed to establish a commission to oversee the development of oil-producing and impacted communities in the state.
“It is important to note that the persistent agitation for 50 per cent derivation by critical stakeholders compelled the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to initiate the payment of the 13 per cent derivation originally intended for the host communities to state governments in the Niger Delta.
“I strongly believe that the establishment of the commission will resolve the ongoing conflicts between host communities and oil companies. This commission will be readily available to address the developmental deficits in the various oil-producing communities and usher in a new era of steady power supply, quality school facilities, improved roads, human capital development, and more,” the statement read.