Shun State Govts, Channel Derivation Fund Directly To Host Communities – Hostcon Tasks Fg
SAN FRANCISCO, December 06, (THEWILL) – A group, Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCON, has called on the Federal Government to channel the 13 percent derivation fund directly to member communities through oil/gas development agencies, contending that the fund being managed by state governments on their behalf is a fraud.
Speaking through its National Chairman, Bishop Mike Emu, the group pointed out that since the year 2000, over N4 trillion had been allocated to the nine oil producing states with nothing tangible to show for it.
“We wholeheartedly throw our weight behind the clamour for direct allocation of 13% Derivation Fund to the oil and gas bearing communities through developmental agencies that should be monitored by the Federal Government. We are tired of state governments' misapplication of our God- given resources.”
Emu, in a statement by HOSTCON National Director of Media and Publicity, Prince Monday Whiskey, said, “It is instructive to note that 13% Derivation Fund allocations which started in Year 2000 till date has resulted in the allocation of over N4 trillion to the nine oil producing states of Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Imo and Cross River.
“In all these states, there is nothing tangible to show that such huge allocations have come to the oil producing communities except personal buildings and investments of the managers of the 13% derivation fund in the aforementioned states.
“The continuous allocation of the 13% derivation fund to the states is a clear violation of the 1999 Constitution which put oil and gas in the exclusive legislative list and furthermore Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which makes 13% derivation fund a first line charge on the federation account that cannot be paid through a third party or any state government account.”
The National Chairman said his group believed strongly on the anti- corruption crusade of the present government, stressing that for such a crusade to be meaningful to “our people, we want the full implementation of the second schedule Part 1 exclusive legislative list No. 39 as provided in the constitution to be fully implemented.
“That section of the law states very clearly that oil and gas is on the exclusive legislative list and it is only the President and Commander-in-Chief that has the prerogative to decide on all issues of oil/gas and other mineral resources therein. We therefore wholeheartedly throw our weight behind the clamour for direct allocation of 13% derivation fund to the oil and gas bearing communities through developmental agencies that should be monitored by the federal government, we are tired of state governments' misapplication of our God-given resources.”
“HOSCON strongly supports the advocacy for direct allocation of 13% Derivation Fund to the oil and gas bearing communities as that remain the only way to check the colossal fraud that has been deviled the management and misapplication of the funds that is purely meant to cushion the environmental and ecological problems associated with oil and gas exploitation and explorations.”
Emu assured that HOSCON, as an advocate of peace in the Niger Delta, will consistently speak out in all matters capable of threatening the fragile peace in the oil-rich region and that the misapplication of 13 per cent Derivation Fund was one of such subject matters.