The bunch of cesspools that have over the years been squandering that 13 percent Derivation Fund being allocated to the region and turned it into their inherited estates is an absolutely unscrupulous and unethical attitude. These unpatriotic and egoistical leaders have lagged the oil-producing region of the Niger Delta far behind and shattered the long-awaited hopes of the underprivileged citizens of the region.
The creation of NDDC in 2000 has resuscitated the highly anticipated hopes of the impoverished people of the region of being the most developed region in the country and rescuing it from wide-ranging environmental hazards turning their fertile soil into barren one.
The current mesmerizing technological march of a dazzling array of renewable energy sources, more especially solar energy, is sounding the alarm for the NDDC officials to mend their ways and stop turning a blind eye to the issue of environmental protection across the region as it may be subjected to immense negative hazardous consequences and abandonment when global attention entirely shift away from fossil fuels.
It is palpable that agriculture is fundamental to every nation’s prosperity, security and sovereignty. The NDDC should be truly patriotic and visionary leaders by prioritizing and looking upon agriculture as their new oil sector and ultimately take the entire region back to this compelling long-term lucrative sector.
The fastest-growing population of our country and the spellbinding march of an impressive array of renewable energy sources show that agriculture will be the only and preeminent option for the region’s forecasted survival and economic diversification to replace the oil which will definitely be an outmoded commodity sooner or later.
I, therefore, wish to draw the attention of the NDDC to the fact that, as long as the biggest oil producers or Gulf nations spare no effort to attain scientific research capable of turning their desert sand or areas into arable farmlands with the aim of boosting food security, the NDDC has no reason for not replicating those Gulf nations to feed themselves and save their younger generations’ bacon.
The ongoing N65,000 monthly stipends and that payment of the N150,000 annual house rent allowances is utterly ephemeral. It will be indeed a very good idea to massively engage young men and women of the Niger Delta region in dry-season commercial farming as it will be an unmatched international trade, enhancing nations’ revenue and an important part of the survival of societies, communities and nations in the future.
I will conclude by harking back to an Indian geneticist and administrator, who played a vital role in fostering India’s Green Revolution, Mr. Mankombu Sambasiran Swaminathan who once said,” If agriculture goes wrong, nothing else will have a chance to go right”. The younger generations can only write the names of the NDDC in golden letters if they left behind an unprecedented remarkable legacy for them.
Mustapha Baba Azare, Bauchi State