- Says producing states at the mercy of NNPC
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has disclosed that oil producing states in the country are not getting the complete 13 per cent derivation of revenue derived from oil production as provided for in the 1999 Constitution.
Dickson said in spite of the express provisions of the constitution for the disbursement of 13 per cent to producing states, those entrusted with the responsibility have not ensured effective implementation of the derivation act.
Dickson, who said successive governments have violated the 13 per cent derivation Act, called for the issue to be addressed without delay.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. FIdelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having made the comment during a visit to the head office TV Continental in Lagos.
He said the queer kind of federalism in operation in the country was the reason behind the growing call for the restructuring in the polity.
He decried a situation where states of the federation and the federal government would be put at the mercy of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which would declare whatever it considered appropriate for sharing.
He said: â€œWe practice in this country, a very funny federal system and these are the reasons some of us are passionate about the call for a restructured Nigeria so that we can address these challenges and imbalances.
â€œEven within the existing constitutional framework that has made provisions for 13 per cent derivation, the implementation of it does not really come to 13 per cent. It is unfortunate.
â€œWe have a situation where every state including the oil producing states which suffer the adverse effects of oil production, (environment is going, livelihoods are gone and communities in crisis) and the federal government are at the mercy of the NNPC.
â€œIn orders words, every month, our officials go to the Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee for the month and they simply wait for NNPC to declare what is available and they throw that at us.
â€œSo there has been a consistent violation of the constitutional provision regarding 13 per cent constitutional provisions to effect that all funds that accrued to the federal government should be paid into the federation account so that it would be put in for disbursement according to the revenue sharing formula.
â€œThat has been consistently violated by successive governments, and we feel it should be addressed.â€
Speaking also on the issue of the $1 billion to fight Boko Haram terrorists, the governor reiterated the position of the state government to go to court to seek enforcement of its demand for the 13 per cent component of the supposed security funds.
Dickson said it was only proper for the 13 per cent component of the funds to be worked out and paid to the producing states in accordance with the provisions of the constitution so that they are not made to make double contribution to the funds.
The governor said the $1 billion should be designated as support for the security forces such as the army, the Navy, Air Forces, the police and others rather than being termed as part of campaign against Boko Haram.
Dickson stressed that while he was in support of the planned release of the funds because of his belief in stability and security for economic development, there should be consensus on the security items to be procured with the funds.