Why Deltans must interrogate Okowa’s mismanagement of N240 billion received as 13% derivation arrears from the FG

Why Deltans must interrogate Okowa’s mismanagement of N240 billion received as 13% derivation arrears from the FG

Why Deltans must interrogate Okowa’s mismanagement of N240 billion received as 13% derivation arrears from the FG

By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board

The Federal Government recent declaration that it disbursed a total of N1.98 trillion as share of the 13% oil derivation backlog paid to oil-producing states, has vindicated GbaramatuVoice Newspaper and again confirmed as right the newspaper’s sustained critical stance on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s deformed administrative style in Delta state.

Amplifying Okowa’s ineptitude, lack of vision and craps mismanagement of resources, mal-administration and dearth of leadership in the state is the awareness that out of this referenced sum, Delta state under his watch received N240 billion.

The referenced amount excludes monthly statutory Federal Allocations, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and Allocations from Universal Basic Education (UBEC), among others from interventionists’ agencies.

Meanwhile, GbaramatuVoice is not in any way surprised that such is happening in the state. Rather, the newspaper believes that what set the stage for Okowa’s brazen mismanagement and pilfering of state resources was largely predicated on his choice of Chief Fidelis Tilije as the state’s commissioner for finance.

Fundamentally, like Okowa, Tilije is a personality reputed for mismanagement of both human and material resources. A few years ago, he personally, as the Managing Director, superintended over the demise without resuscitation or resurrection of Fortune International Bank Limited with depositors money trapped.

ALSO READ: How lack of master plan, absence of political will, and others derailed Okowa’s administration (Part II)

While many of the depositors did not recover their hard earned money, some died as a result of shock arising from such misfortune.

Lamentably, out of thousands of financial experts/gurus as well as men and women of impeccable character that litters the state, Okowa, choose the same Fidelis and assigned him to superintend state finance.

“Bird of the same feather, they say, flocks together! Tell me with whom you move, and I will tell you whom you are. The quality of a leader is defined by the quality/class of people that he surrounds himself with.”

Okowa and Tilije in the newspaper’s understanding are two sides of a coin.

This is pathetic!

While Deltans mourn the dearth of leadership in the state, the question(s) that begs for answer(s) is: What did Okowa and Tilije do with the state’s N240 billion? How much of this sum was extended to the Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission (DESOPADEC)- the statutory beneficiary of the 13% derivation?

Has Governor Okowa forgotten that the act establishing DESOPADEC, among other provisions stated that the commission must, secure 50% of the 13% Oil Derivation Fund accruing to Delta State Government and the received sum, must be used for rehabilitation and development of oil-producing areas of the state as well as carry out other development projects as may be determined from time to time?

Is he unaware that under his watch, DESOPADEC has come under serious scrutiny and roundly perceived by the public as clueless and inept in performing the role it was established to handle, riddled with corrupt tendencies and enmeshed in an unholy politicking and meddlesomeness by the state chief executive?

Also worrying is the awareness that in a bid to defend the allegation by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that the oil-producing states have refused to disclose their share of the 13% derivation arrears paid by the Federal Government from 1999 to all the Niger Delta States, Tilije insulted the deep feelings of Deltans.

Tilije said in parts; “Senator Ifeanyi Okowa led administration would not want to leave the next administration with a huge debt burden. As a result of that fact, he resorted to discounting only N150 billion out of the N240 billion expected receivables but later pruned it down to N100 billion.”

Tilije’s statement came at a time when the state was already living on financial life support and exists under the crushing weight of indebtedness to banks and development institutions within and outside the country. Deltans are aware of these facts. Who is Tilije trying to deceive?

GbramatuVoice holds the opinion that it is time that Deltans, particularly the oil producing communities ask questions and hold Okowa and his men accountable.

Enough is enough!

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