Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson has described the 13% derivation principle as a mockery of the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta. He said the 13 percent derivation is not enough to develop the Niger Delta Region.
A statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Francis Ottah Agbo said the governor made the assertion on Tuesday during a live media chat in Ijaw language in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson, according to the statement, argued that, only restructuring would guarantee sustainable peace, stability and development in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.
He lamented that the people of the region, particularly the Ijaws are being treated as second class citizens in the country, as their God-given resources are expropriated by the Federal Government and its agencies.
His words, “I have said it time and time again that the 13% derivation they are giving to us can never be enough to tackle our development needs at the pace we want. And that, restructuring is the only veritable means to achieve sustainable peace, stability and prosperity not only in this our region but throughout the country.
“For how long will the Federal Government and indeed all the supporters of this great injustice continue to treat us as slaves? 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.
“Take Bayelsa, for instance, where the Federal Government is doing almost nothing to support our development effort. We are the ones building all our schools, hospitals, roads and bridges to link our communities in this state. Is that fair?
“That is why I expect every right thinking Ijaw or Niger Delta person and true Nigerians 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.”
On the ongoing state public service reforms, the governor restated the need for Bayelsans to discountenance the propaganda and blackmail orchestrated by detractors, stressing that, no genuine worker would be adversely affected.
He said through continuous verification and other measures, his administration has pruned down the over bloated wage bill of about six billion Naira it inherited at inception of his government to 3.8 billion Naira at the end of last month.
Governor Dickson, who urged the people not to see the civil service as the best occupation, assured them of the government preparedness to assist them go into commerce and other private businesses, which he noted, are more lucrative.
While calling for more support and prayers for the success of the reforms and other programmes, he said he had directed the appropriate government officials to announce the commencement of the recruitment of 1000 graduates into the public service by next week.
Assuring Bayelsans of fairness and transparency in the recruitment process, Governor Dickson asked the public to report any government official who indulges in nepotism and other sharp practices that would jeopardize his administration’s goal of leaving behind an efficient and result-oriented civil service.