Engr. Elias Mbam
Omon Julius Onabu and James Emejo
Oil producing communities in Delta State have petitioned the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), demanding among other things, that a derivation board whose members will be recommended for appointment by the President on the advice of the leaders of oil and gas communities be set up.
The communities also demanded that the 13 percent derivation fund accruing to the federation account directly from any natural resources be paid as first line charge from the federation account to the communities.
“The 13 percent Derivation Fund belongs exclusively to the oil and gas producing communities which are the source of derivation. The oil facilities, flow stations etc. are located in the oil and producing communities where oil exploration, exploitation and production are being carried out causing monumental degradation, pollution and health hazard etc. The 13% Derivation Fund is compensation and reparation for loss of fishing right and loss of productive farm land,” they insisted.
The oil producing communities said in a letter signed by elders from six oil producing states including, Edo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states, a copy which was made available to THISDAY that the proposed derivation board should be comprised of an executive chairman, secretary and members including a member from RMAFC . They added that the chairmanship should rotate among oil and gas producing states every four years.
They also insisted that the 13 per cent Derivation Fund currently being managed by the State Governors in the oil and gas producing states was an aberration, adding that the Fund had been managed without regard to the oil and gas producing communities who are owners of the Fund.
“In order to put this issue in proper perspective, a reproduction of Section 162 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended thereof is imperative at this juncture.
“That section provides thus:’The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation except the proceeds income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for Revenue Allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of states, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density.”