Minister of Petroleum, Dizeani Allison Madueke
The presidency Wednesday warned politicians to stop heating up the polity with their comments on the onshore-offshore oil dichotomy that has pitted the North against the South.
It urged politicians not to aggravate the volatile issue of the onshore and offshore dichotomy with a view to escalating conflicts for their own selfish interests.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the presidency said some of the utterances credited to some major stakeholders in the oil-rich region were not recipes for equity and development.
The politicians, the presidency noted, have been canvassing for the re-opening of the debate over the onshore-offshore abrogation law which was enacted by the National Assembly in 2004.
The statement is coming against the backdrop of the campaign for the review of the law in view of the ongoing efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution.
“Some of the pronouncements are disruptive, outright mischievous, and aimed at causing disaffection. The presidency strongly advises such politicians to desist from playing up sectional and ethnic sentiments, over a matter that was addressed eight years ago to the benefit of all parties concerned,” the statement said.
The government expressed worry that the calls for the debate was counter-productive considering the security threats and challenges that the government is facing from Boko Haram.
According to the statement, “At a time when the government is working hard to resolve security challenges in parts of the country, the political elite across board are expected to cooperate with the federal and state governments to promote the cause of peace, stability and national transformation."
The onshore-offshore dichotomy was abrogated in February 2004 as a political solution to the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed the Federal Government's powers of control over oil produced offshore.
According to the law, oil from offshore concessions within 200 nautical mile will form part of the computation of the 13 per cent derivation in revenues allocated to littoral states.