The people of Ovia Federal Constituency, in Edo State, have petitioned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio, over alleged exclusion of their constituency by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from its budgetary provisions.
Hon. Dennis Idahosa, member representing the Constituency in the House of Representatives and 99 members of the constituency signed the petition, which was made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Benin.
In the petition, the people said in the last four years, the ministry and the NDDC had expended a budget of over N500 billion with no single project cited in Ovia federal constituency.
They regretted that the abandonment of the area was a disservice to the people even though the constituency was home to some oil producing areas in Edo State.
The petition called on the minister to immediately begin the process of reconstructing Udo-Inikhorogha and Ekheuan – Gelegele roads which lead to some of the oil producing communities in the Constituency.
Part of the letter read: “The Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment Act in Part II particularly in Sections 7 (1)a-e and S7 (2) notably to formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta Area, and the Commission shall have regard to the varied and specific contributions of each member state of the Commission.
“It is disheartening that for successive years not one single project or empowerment scheme has been domiciled in Ovia Federal Constituency by your ministry and the NDDC.
“Concerned that with about half a trillion naira budgeted for MNDA and NDDC in the last four years, it is grossly inappropriate that no project was captured in the budget for Ovia Federal constituency.
“Sir, communities in Ovia Federal Constituency, Edo state are agrarian and fishing communities with a huge population of youths that are challenged by unemployment yet law abiding irrespective of being from oil producing communities.
“The patience of our youths and people on the total neglect of Ovia Federal Constituency by your Ministry and the NDDC is waning by the day.”