Posted by News Express | 9 February 2019 | 1,301 times
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, on Friday decried what he called the slow pace of development in Bayelsa State.
He noted that the level of development was at variance with about N 1.3 trillion that accrued to the state in the last seven years from the Federation Account.
“Look, in this state controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), they have done nothing. What the administration has gotten is more than N1.3 trillion in about seven years from the Federal Government.
“This is excluding local government allocations and loans. Yenagoa (the state capital), is the darkest city in the world. In fact, if I knew the situation was this bad, I would have lit up the entire Yenagoa.
“I didn’t know that Yenagoa is this dark. If I had known when we were preparing the scopes of the budget, I would have lit the whole of Yenagoa, but I can assure you that by 2019, we would lit up the whole of Yenagoa.
“That will bring a lot more of government presence to the people. You know that individuals are not expected to light up the streets, that is the work of government and that is what we are doing,” Lokpobiri said.
According to him, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government that is known for anti-corruption is worried about the disparity in revenue accruals and underdevelopment in Bayelsa.
“How can you explain N1.3 trillion of federation allocation and Yenagoa is the darkest city in the world.
“The state of the roads in all the communities we went to were deplorable, these are forgotten people.
“The Federal Government, through my Ministry, has to remember the smallest or the remotest parts of the country and that is why projects are extended to them.
“I am assuring them that they should vote for the APC so that we can consolidate on what we have started,” the Minister said.
Lokpobiri, who spoke after inspecting some ongoing projects and inaugurating completed ones, noted that the Ministry embarked on micro infrastructure projects to assist farmers in the rural areas.
He explained that the Ministry intervened in its rural development function by the provision of rural access roads to assist farmers to evacuate their products, construction of market stalls as well as rural electrification.
The state Governor, Chief Seriake Dickson, and Lokpobiri had expressed divergent views on the financial standings of the state, including debts owed by it.
Dickson’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwe, claimed that Lokpobiri was a ‘Diaspora’ politician who was out of tune with happenings in Bayelsa.
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