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Oil communities threaten court action over DESOPADEC funds

WARRI—OIL producing communities in Delta State may drag the state government to court over an alleged non-release of the actual 50 percent derivation funds to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPDEC.

Indication to this effect emerged, yesterday  when the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Stakeholders Forum, OMPSTAFOR, met in Warri, Delta state.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by its coordinator, Prince Maikpobi Okareme, the group said, “In view of the unexpected delay in the release of funds to the oil producing communities, lawyers shall be approached to ensure the appropriation/release of actual 50 per cent of derivation funds accruing to DESOPADEC in line with Section 13 (i) of the DESOPADEC Act 2006…”

It will be recalled that in a letter, dated February 8, to the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Martin Okonta, entitled, “Increase/accurate funding of DESOPADEC”, also signed by Prince Okareme, the oil communities demanded that not less than N53 billion, being 50 percent of the expected N106 billion derivation funds for 2010 due to the state should be appropriated to DESOPADEC.

He said, “It shall be appreciated if the Speaker can please pass on the attached communique of the meeting held on January 27, to the House of Assembly committees on DESOPADEC and Appropriation.”

So that a figure of not less than N53 billion being 50 percent of the expected N106 billion derivation funds for 2010 due to Delta State can be appropriated to DESOPADEC in line with section  13 (i) of The Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Act 2006 which states “The Commission shall receive and administer exclusively the 50% of the  13% Oil Derivation Fund accruing to the Delta State government”.


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