By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa says the 13 per cent derivation given to the Niger Delta is insufficient to develop the region.
The governor said this on Tuesday during a live media chat in Ijaw language on Tuesday in Yenagoa.
He said the derivation principle was short of the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
Dickson argued that only restructuring would guarantee sustainable peace, stability and development in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.
“I have said it time and time again that the 13 per cent derivation the Federal Government gives to us can never be enough to tackle our developmental needs at the pace we want.
“Restructuring is the only veritable means to achieve sustainable peace, stability and prosperity not only in our region but throughout the country.
“What they call oil blocs are our ancestral lands but we are the people that are excluded from the ownership and use of this our God-given property.
“For instance, Bayelsa is where the Federal Government is doing almost nothing to support our development efforts.
“We are the ones building all our schools, hospitals, roads and bridges to link our communities in this state.
“That is why I expect every right thinking Ijaw or Niger Delta person and true Nigerian to support our clamour for restructuring because that is the right thing to do so that every part of our country will have a sense of belonging,” Dickson said.
On the ongoing public service reforms, the governor urged the people to discountenance what he called the propaganda and blackmail orchestrated by detractors, adding that no genuine worker would be adversely affected.
He said through continuous verification and other measures, his administration had pruned down the over bloated wage bill of about N6 billion it inherited to N3.8 billion by May.
Dickson, who urged the people not to see civil service as the best occupation, assured them of government preparedness to assist them go into commerce and other private businesseses.
The governor said he had directed the appropriate government officials to announce the commencement of the recruitment of 1,000 graduates into the public service by next week.
He assured of fairness and transparency in the recruitment processes.
Dickson urged the public to report any government official who indulges in nepotism and other sharp practices to the appropriate quarters.