Niger Delta leaders used oil money as ‘pocket money’ – Masari

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Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari
urged Niger Delta leaders to come clean on how
they have spent oil money
allocated to the region
over the years.
“For six years,” Masari said, “we had a Niger Delta
president. Let us see what difference he made in
six years when he was president. When the excess
crude account became pocket money, how much
of the money went to the Niger Delta?”
In an interview with The Interview, Masari Niger
challenged Niger Delta leaders to “come clean” on
how they have managed the region’s resources.
Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the magazine,
Mr. Azu Ishiekwene said in a statement yesterday
that “Masari fired on all cylinders. He took on
Senate President Bukola Saraki, explained why
(former president Olusegun) Obasanjo’s alleged
third term bid failed and spoke at length, for the
first time, on ‘budget padding.’ And, then, he
removed his gloves on his predecessor, Ibrahim
Shema, and the Niger Delta.”
Although Masari did not name names, the
reference to a Niger Delta president pointed to Dr.
Goodluck Jonathan, under whose presidency oil
price averaged $100 per barrel.
Asked what he did to ensure accountability of oil
money when he was speaker of the House of
Representatives and also a ranking member of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time,
Masari simply said: “The House of Representatives
has been friendly to the people of the Niger Delta
than any other institution in the country.”
He also alleged the Federal Government to publish
how much the region has received since the 13
percent derivation started.
The resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta by
Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in since last year has
led to massive losses in the country’s oil revenue
and peace efforts have stalled.
At the weekend, Minister of State for Petroleum
Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said the federal
government has spent over $40 billion in the
region in the past 12 years.

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