Delta HOSTCOM defends Okowa over 13% derivation

Host Communities of Nigeria (Producing Oil and Gas) Delta State chapter, has said that the immediate past governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, did not divert or misappropriate the 13 percent derivation funds coming to the state.

The group made up of Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Ndokwa, and Ika ethnic nationalities made this disclosure in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday.

The gave Okowa the thumbs up for managing the 13 percent derivation well in the state.

Recall that last week, members of oil and gas producing Communities of Delta State stormed the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

They had demanded for the probe and investigation of the immediate past governor Okowa for alleged illegal and unlawful diversion of host communities 13 percent oil derivation funds.

But the state Chairman of the group, Sunday Enujeke, said: “The funds earmarked for the development of oil and gas bearing communities have been judiciously used to the best of our knowledge and we unequivocally say that Dr. Okowa has done very well.”

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He added that the allegations of alleged misappropriation of the 50 percent accruable to Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, from the 13 percent Derivation Fund by Okowa was a calculated attempt to mislead, confuse, and incite the unsuspecting public against the person of Dr Okowa.

According to Enujeke, “We have observed with great concern and consternation, the orchestrated campaign of calumny against the immediate past Governor Okowa, concerning the alleged misappropriation of the 50 percent accruable to DESOPADEC from the 13 percent Derivation Fund.

“There is a deliberate attempt to distort the facts, misinform, and hoodwink the populace into fighting their proxy war against the past governor.

“We are a registered body in Nigeria with RC number:23281, and saddled with the responsibility of advocating for accelerated development across the Oil and Gas communities of Delta State particularly, and Nigeria in general.

“As the name implies, we have the mandate to give the public first-hand information as it relates to the usage of our common patrimony which is the 13 percent derivation, as it relates to Delta State.

“We can state without any fear of contradiction that the funds earmarked for the development of oil and gas bearing communities has been judiciously used to the best of our knowledge and we unequivocally say that Okowa has done very well.”

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Enujeke reeled out some of the ongoing projects carried out by the Okowa led administration to include, the 20.29km Obotoho 1-Obotobo II-Sokebolog-Yokrs-Road in Burunu LGA, the multibillion-naira Ogheye Floating Market in Warri North LGA.

Ogulagha township roads in Burutu LGA, Okerenkoko township roads in Warri South West LGA.

Others according to the group include, “The ultra-modern DESOPADEC Head Office on Warri Sapele Road is an edifice to behold and a well thought out plan for effective and efficient working environment, the ongoing construction of the Trans-Warri roads.

“The bridges lining Ubeji, Ifie, Ijala, Ogbodede, Inorin, Ajigba, Orugbo, Usele, and Ode-Itsekiri communities, the ongoing construction of Ayakarumo bridge in Burutu LGA, amongst others.”

Enujeke added that the above achievements were made possible because of the new governing structure put in place by former Governor Okawa.

He noted that “Unlike in the past where there was a chairman who functioned as a sole administrator, there is now a board comprising the Chairman, Managing Director, and five Executive Directors, ensuring proper planning transparency, and accountability.”

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