How Saturday Eregbene is Milking Burutu Local Government of DeltaState Dried - Hon. Ebikeme Clark
The Local Government is the third arms of the Government closer to the people at the grassroots. There are lots of criticisms on the dwindling revenue of the Local Government Areas in Nigeria especially on the Joint Account operated by the State Governments.
In 2014, the Local Government Areas in Delta State conducted election and Chief (Hon). Ebikeme Clark emerged as the PDP Flag bearer and finally won the election as Chairman of Burutu Local Government.
His vision for the Local Government was to make it the best Local Government not only in Delta State but Nigeria as a whole.
Immediately he was sworn-in, he saw so many things going wrong in the Local Government. He went into action to secure a flying boat for the workers in the Local Government since the Local Government Headquarters is only accessible by sea. He also got vehicles for the areas offices through the SURE-P funds as the allocation from the Federation Account was nothing to write home about after deducting the Gross into the State Joint Account.
After serious scrutiny of the Local Government Account, Chief (Hon). Ebikeme Clark discovered that:
· N10Million was been paid to Ghost workers in the name of “Street sweepers”;
· Dead and non existence teachers were been paid and N5.9million was saved monthly from the sanitation of SUBEB in the Local Government.
· Payment of 50% of the Local Government Revenue to Chief Saturday Eregbene via Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited.
In the process of putting an end to the illegal collection of the 50% revenue of the Local Government, Chief (Hon). Ebikeme Clark stopped the illegal payment to Chief Saturday Eregbene.
It will be recalled that the legal tussle between Shell Petroleum Development Company and Burutu Local Government was won by the Council championed by the Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited.
Shell Petroleum Development Company paid the sum of N25, 784, 416.11 (Twenty Five Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Eighty Six Naira, Eleven Kobo) and a percentage has already been paid to Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited to offset all its cost of handling the case as regards the agreement entered into between the Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited and the Council.
In the addition to the above, Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited has collected in excess, Eighty Million, One Hundred And Ninety Four Thousand, Six Hundred And Ninety Three Naira, Twenty One Kobo. (N80,194,693:21).
Due to the fall in the price of oil in the World market, the revenue accrued to the area council as fallen from between N250million monthly to N40million monthly, yet Chief Saturday Eregbene insist on single handedly collecting 50% of the revenue due to the Local Government.
Chief Saturday Eregbene is standing on the Power of Attorney blindly given to him by the Former Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Orubebe who was the then Chairman of the Local Government.
Orubebe had signed an agreement that 50% of the revenue of the Local Government will be paid to the account of Karuna Marine Nigeria Limited owned by Chief Saturday Eregbene on monthly basis as long as the Local Government remain in existence!
This has not gone down well with Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark as he cannot afford to be giving 50% of the Local Government Revenue accrued to the Local Government to an individual.
Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark as received several death threat from Chief Saturday Eregbene as he has vowed to stop the illegal payment.
Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark can no longer resume office as he has been threaten that his flying boat will be drown; Chief Saturday Eregbene has mobilized the residents in the community to protest against the Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark administration in the Local Government.
In the meanwhile, Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark has appealed to the residents of Burutu Local Government to bear with him; that all the campaign promises will be carried out as the dwindling revenue accrued to the Local Government as at today is nothing to write home about.
In order to meet the yarning of the people, the State Government had reduced the Councils security votes by 60% while even the 40% Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark is entitled to are not forthcoming.
As at today, Burutu Local Government is the only Local Government owing three months salaries while others are owing up till seven months.
“As we continue to block all loopholes, there are rooms for more revenue to bring required infrastructures and development to the Local Government” Chief (Hon) Ebikeme Clark said.