Despite receiving N90 billion ECA funds in one year, Bayelsa ranks highest in poverty

Squalor in Bayelsa after N164.72 billion state revenue in a single year

Onopa community in Bayelsa State is in unimaginable squalor after the state government in one year alone got N152.54 billion allocation from the Federal Government and N12.18 billion Internally Generated Revenue.

Onopa community has a huge reflection of poverty with inhabitants living in pitiable squalor is 3 kilometres away from Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.

A clear indication that the state government is aware of the poverty in Onopa community and watches the residents live in squalor without any basic infrastructure.

Worse still, the Annual State Viability Index (ASVI) shows that Bayelsa state an oil-producing state, in the year 2020 alone, received N152.54 billion allocation from the Federal Government and generated N12.18 billion internally, making her 2020 annual income stand at N164.72 billion.

Despite the huge revenues, Tracka, a public accountability organization that was in the Onopa community, says residents are living in unimaginable poverty with many of them living in inhuman conditions.

Onopa community is an exception, across Bayelsa State, there are many communities living in squalor with the inhabitants living in inhuman conditions.

This is even though Bayelsa is estimated to be 1.7 million in population with eight Local Government Areas.

And, despite the huge allocation, and its small population, Bayelsa State government has on many occasions had issues with the civil servants over none payment of workers’ salaries.

Looking at the terrible poverty in Onopa community which is 3 kilometres away from the Bayelsa state government house, it becomes worrisome and unclear how the state deploys its resources.

The poverty in Bayelsa and other Niger Delta communities appears to be endemic. This is even as the Federal Government gives states in the region 13 percent derivation, created Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and other interventions in efforts to address poverty in the region. And all the efforts have since failed.

Unfortunately, poverty in the Niger Delta is traced to brazen corruption. Officials and state governors charged with the responsibilities of administering monies meant for the development of Niger Delta region have been accused of stealing public funds, with the NDDC being considered the most corrupt among them.

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