By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Niger Delta Support Group (NIDSG) has said that the immediate restructuring of the country from its current unsustainable unitary system to a workable fiscal federation with each state having control of its resources is paramount as the 2019 general election approaches.
A statement made available to Vanguard yesterday signed by the group’s Convener Mr. Vincent Udume Odogbor said that, despite the fact that the resources from the Niger Delta region account for over 95% of the entire revenues of the country, it remains neglected by the federal government.
According to Odogbor, “The negative results of the federal government neglect include worsening ecological and environmental degradation, infrastructural decay and falling quality of education, lack of economic opportunities as well as worsening levels of personal and communal security in the region.
The statement read “Decades of oil exploitation have destroyed the environment and the traditional occupations of the people leading to disease and poverty. Despite having numerous waterways and natural ports, there is currently no functional seaport or international airport in the Niger Delta.
“The region has suffered severe political marginalization throughout the decades and this has reached a head under the current regime of Muhammadu Buhari. Except for a few of his party men and cronies who occupy ceremonial offices, people from the region have been largely excluded from important positions. For example, the Niger Delta is represented by less than 1% of the national security sector and less than 2% in the NNPC.
“We call for the establishment of state police to ensure personal and community security for the people of the region.
“We urged the federal government to relinquish control of our seaports under the Nigerian Ports Authority to states ports authorities”.