A coalition of civil society groups in Delta State, yesterday, called for legally backed 30 per cent derivation to the oil-bearing communities in Niger Delta region, saying the $10 billion for infrastructure rebirth investment programme recently proposed by the Federal Government was a cosmetic solution.

The Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation of Nigeria, NDSWON, Ijaw Human Rights Monitor, Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, and Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, in a joint statement, said: “We are disappointed that this government, like its predecessors, is still proposing a cosmetic solution that will not last long.”

The statement by Dickson Bekederemo and three others, the group noted: “In critical analysis of the proposal, we sensed that they can only address some of the short term solutions of the crisis.

The proposal failed to address the core issues that have given rise to the intractable conundrum. The government should know that its proposals perhaps with genuine interest to address the issue, cannot outlive this dispensation. We do not need short term solution or a solution that has no legal foundation. “It is our stand that these policies are cosmetic in nature. The government is merely scratching the surface. The proposal will never bring permanent solution to the crisis- ridden Niger Delta region.

To kill a bad tree, you must uproot it from the root. We have said it again and again that the solution to the Niger Delta oil war is to resolve the age-long issues of oil governance, vis-a vis resource control and restructuring of this defective federal structure. The so-called 30 per cent of all opportunities in the petroleum industry is a great deception by the government to hoodwink the people. There is no legal backing to it and the idea will die at the expiration this tenure. The $10 billion infrastructure rebirth investment programme cannot survive the test of time as the programme has no concrete foundation as to the funding and execution.”

On the proposition that the Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko, Delta State, be relegated from a university to a polytechnic, the coaltion said it was an insult to the people of the region.

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