Niger Delta contributed N96tr to national coffers –Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, said the Niger Delta has contributed N9 trillion to the coffers of the Federal Government and has, also, renewed his call for a multi-party committee towards harmonising critical areas of agreement to enable the APC-led government facilitate the presentation of the necessary bills that could bring about a restructured Nigeria.

Dickson said this when he received the report of the Committee on Restructuring and other matters affecting the Ijaw nation in Yenagoa, yesterday.

Dickson urged the federal government to put machinery in motion, before the next general elections in 2019.

“With the support of the Peoples Democratic Party and other political parties, the federal government can push through, in the quickest time possible, before the next general election, the necessary bills that can bring about a restructured Nigeria.”

Making reference to the report of the Restructuring Committee, Dickson said in spite of the huge oil revenues the country has earned from the Niger Delta, over the years, areas such as Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny, where crude oil terminals are located, remain inaccessible by road.

“We have never lost faith in this country and the statistics that you have brought out shows it clearly; of all those stories of our sacrifices and commitment to Nigeria.

“ You said LNG alone has generated over N11 billion in the last 10 years and you are working with their own figures.

“You said also that from oil revenues from our territory, Nigeria has earned over N96 trillion and you say this country makes over N52 billion daily and yet, in the midst of this sacrifice, even as we speak, there is no road to the terminals from which this money is made. No road to Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny, that is the plight of our people and yet we continue to believe in Nigeria.”

Governor Dickson noted that the Ijaw nation would be mobilised to join other well-meaning Nigerians to canvass support for a restructured Nigeria, and also, stressed that the 2019 elections would be a referendum between the proponents of true federalism and those opposed to it.

“For us, as a people, 2019 elections would be a referendum. It’s going to be an election that will separate those who are for a restructured and equitable Nigeria and those who are opposed to it. Our people will be mobilised, at all levels, to stand by and support those who want an egalitarian Nigeria.

“Your report deals with a very important issue of how our people will survive within the context of a united Nigeria, how we can achieve a stable sustainable, progressive and prosperous Nigeria that is immune from most of the internal problems threatening to tear it apart.

“Unless we have a stable Nigeria, where everybody is happy, treated fairly and have space to manage their internal affairs and grow at their own pace, and yet, be in one stable big country, we can’t have a peaceful and sustainable Nigeria.

“ Our country can only be stable when all parts of the country are stable…”