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Confab can't agree on revenue sharing based on derivation

By The Rainbow
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The National Conference Committee on Devolution of Power on Tuesday could notagree on the twin issues of derivation principle and resource control.

Even after grueling section which lasted for several hours, it was unable to achieve a consensus on the matter.

It sat for in session for four hours in Abuja during the morning session and resumed deliberations after lunch break during which it sat for another three hours listening to opinions of each of the members.

The debate had been protracted, as the committee co-chaired by former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, and the former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, sat over this issue for two days.

It was learnt that delegates from the north had during the debate rooted for the reintroduction of the on-shore off-shore oil dichotomy which implies that oil produced within certain nautical miles off the seashore should not enjoy derivation principle.

The position was stoutly opposed to by delegates from the south, particularly those from Akwa Ibom State whose oil production is principally off-shore although with sufficient share of environmental degradation.

They stated that based on the position of the Federal Government in 2003 which led to the passage of a bill by the National Assembly for the abolition of the on-shore off-shore oil dichotomy; the matter could not be re-opened for any reason whatsoever.

In his contribution to the debate on derivation principle, Professor Nsongurua Udombana noted that two of Nigeria's Constitution since independence including that of 1960 in Section 134(2); and that of 1963 in Section 140(1) had provided that 50% royalty be paid to regions in respect of any minerals extracted from the region.

He therefore urged the Committee to amend Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution which provides for a minimum of 13 per cent derivation revenue to states in respect of natural resources extracted from those states to be amended to reflect 50 percent.

Attah told journalists after the sitting that deliberation on the issues would continue on Monday after the work-free days announced by the Federal Government, which principally affects the Federal Capital Territory.

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