Osinbajo sympathizes with Niger Delta people, says oil is a curse to them
– Acting President Osinbajo has stated that he understood the travails of the people of Niger Delta
– Osinbajo said although the wealth of the country comes from the oil produced by Niger-Delta, the region seems to not benefit from the gain
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo who visited Bayelsa on Friday, February 10 has said that the nature’s gift of oil in this state is tantamount to a burden and a curse on the communities in Niger Delta.
Osinbajo was in the state as part of his visit to the Niger Delta region to foster peace between the federal government and the region.
According to Punch, Osinbajo who recalled that it was in Oloibiri in the state that the history of oil exploration in Nigeria began and source of the nation’s wealth was discovered stated that oil became the source of 70% of our national earnings and 90% of our foreign exchange earnings.
Osinbajo said: “Over 50% of non-oil revenues is determined by oil revenues. But for the people of historic Oloibiri and the many oil-producing communities in this state and the Delta region of Nigeria, the blessing of oil paradoxically became a curse or at best a burden.
“Their means of livelihood, fishing and farming has consistently been destroyed by pollution.
“Worse still, huge resources earned over the years have simply disappeared.
“The roads, schools, hospitals and social amenities that the oil wealth should have provided are either not there or are patently inadequate.
“The majority of people of these communities and several parts of the oil-producing states have heard of the wealth that oil has brought but have hardly benefited from it.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Federated Correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, in a two day-tour round Bayelsa has lamented the alarming rate at which the Bayelsa government is abandoning project despite receiving N99 billion revenue in 2016.
The tour was inspired by the outrage that followed the news that Bayelsa state house of assembly has approved a loan of N 3 billion for the state government to procure cars for legislators and political office holders.