By Tunde Oguntola,
Amid age long neglect of the Niger Delta region by successive administrations in the country, Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has stressed the need for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other agencies of the government to focus more on developmental project for the region.
Governor Dickson who made theappeal while receiving the management team of the NDDC led by its chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba in hisoffice harped on the need for the commission to embark on projects that will impact on the lives of the people positively. He said the region particularly ‘’Bayelsa State is in a hurry for
development and this has been topmost priority of the present administration in the state.’’
The governor called on all Niger Delta leaders to close ranks and rededicate themselves to the development of the region.
He noted that the development of the region is not commensurate with its contribution to the socio-economic growth of the country.
According to him, ‘’The ancient community of Oloibiri where the crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity is now a shadow of itself.
‘’Most of the International Oil Companies operating in the state neither have their offices or pay taxes to Bayelsa State government,’’ he said.
The governor said these narratives have to change, and called on all critical stakeholders including interventionist agencies who he said have major roles to play to address the matter.
According to him, it was worrisome that privileged Bayelsans, and by extension, those from other Niger Delta states who occupied and are still occupying various political offices would prefer to concern themselves with mundane things rather than the development of the region.
Dickson therefore charged the new NDDC board not to follow same path as the Niger Delta region is highly in need of development. He lamented that over 60years after oil was first discovered in Bayelsa most of the communities with abundant resources are still not connected by road to the state capital.