A FTER a lull in violence, the Niger Delta militants have resumed their attacks on the country’s oil installations. Already, the country is in a terrible shape economically today, and the continued bombing of oil pipelines is not helping matters. We may have our differences on how the country is politically, but we should not work towards ruining it by targeting its source of revenue.
We all know that Nigeria’s major source of forex supply is crude oil, and we are already grappling with the falling price of the resource in the global markets, but degrading the country’s oil export capacities has made things worse.
The Niger Delta militants may be happy that the Nigerian government is being crippled, but the truth is that the average Nigerian is suffering as a result. Despite many state governments not paying salaries to their civil servants, the governors and other political office holders are enjoying uninterrupted payment of their salaries and allowances. The same goes to the officers at the Federal level, so what we are experiencing is being borne only by innocent citizens.
Apart from that, the poor farmers in Niger Delta are suffering as a result of the bombings due to the degradation of the environment. As a result of this, I want to appeal to the militants in the Niger Delta region to allow reason to prevail. It is easy to say that when our son was president, a certain section of the country did not allow him enjoy his tenure with the Boko Haram attacks, but we must look past that and work towards making Nigeria great again.
It is as a result of this that I am happy that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has agreed to invest massively in the region. According to reports, the government hopes to invest about $10billion in the development of the Niger Delta. I hope this will go a long way in providing basic infrastructures that will make life more meaningful to the people. However, what is happening in the region is not for a lack of investment by the Federal Government. Over the years, successive governments have tried their best to develop the region; in fact, the past administration established the Ministry of Niger Delta, while there is also the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and through these establishments, billions of dollars have flowed to the region, but what is happening is that the majority of these funds have been mismanaged.
If we should also ask, what has happened to the huge monthly allocations the Niger Delta states are receiving from the Federation Account? Everything was just mismanaged, but, it is important that the current initiative of the Federal Government is monitored so that some people will not just become overnight billionaires as a result of this initiative.
- Amadi Kingston,