BY CHRISTIANA NWAOGU, ABUJA
A group under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDYLF), has vehemently rejected the N35.31 billion allocated for capital projects in the 2017 budget for the once restive South -South region.
The national president of the forum, Hon.. Famous Daunemigha,who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, lamented that the figure appropriated was insignificant compared to what other geo-political zones of the country got.
Daunemigha, who described the capital projects’ funds for the region as ‘meagre in the face of monumental infrastructural challenges confronting the region, said the rejection was based on the fact that the region would no longer lay the golden egg and be treated with disdain.
He emphasised that the breakdown of funds appropriated for capital projects in the six geo-political zones in the 2017 budget showed that North Central got N207 billion; North West, N73.7 billion; South West, N48.97 billion; North east, N46.69 billion, while South- South got N35.31 billion and South- East got N28.22 billion.
Daunemigha warned that the fund appropriated for capital projects was unacceptable to the people of the region, and thus, stressed the need for the federal government to urgently prepare executive bill to the National Assembly, with a view to addressing the imbalance.
According to him, “Every single member of the National Assembly, especially, those from our region are failures. They ought to have say this is not fair to our people and we are rejecting it. The aspect of funds for the capital projects is insulting and they must find a way to address it either through the executive bill or whatever, because we can’t accept this.”
His words, “We are the region that lay the golden egg and some people feel they can eat the meat of the egg and throw the chaf at us. As far as we are concern, Nigeria still needs our oil. 90% of Nigeria’s income is from the oil.”The agricultural or whatever they talk about is still in incubation, it hasn’t really taken off. Nigeria is not planting any food anywhere for it to earn income from.
‘We need to restructure this country in a way that what you have is what you should get. We can only pay tax to the federation account if we are operating true federalism.They must address these issues or else we will march the streets of the Niger Delta in our protests, and the oil will not flow until these pressing issues are addressed.
On whether they will return to the creeks, he said, “We are still mobilising our people for these protests. The government will know when it starts. We are not talking about the creeks anymore. Nobody is going to go to creeks.
“We will mobilise all our women and everybody to the flow stations and lockthem down so that JTF can come and kill us all. Nobody is encouraging militancy or whatever. We are not going to destroy the pipelines because the pipelines are in our land and the spills will affect us, he noted.”