Oil producing communities in the Niger Delta area have asked governors of states in the region to give account of the 13 per cent derivation fund that is paid monthly into the state accounts.
The communities had lamented they had little or nothing to show for the N7.282trn the state governments collected in the past 13 years.
The President of the Ijaw National Congress, Joshua Benamaisia, told SUNDAY PUNCH that they want the governments to separate the fund from their regular monthly allocation.
He said, “The state governors should tell us what projects they have used the derivation fund for. We are even saying that the 13 per cent is not enough. The constitution says at least 13 per cent. That means we can get as much as 90 per cent. But the fund is not meant for the development of only the state capital. It is for the communities where the oil is taken from.
“The fact is that 99 per cent of the oil communities are not developed. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even have roads. The money does not get to them. It gets to the state and ends with the state.
Benamaisia supported the call for a board that will directly receive and administer the derivation fund for the benefit of the communities affected by oil exploration and exploitation.
He said, “In managing the derivation fund, I think the states should also be involved. They should set up committees with representatives from these communities. And there should be master plans for developing these communities, which would be tied to the derivation fund.
Similarly, the Chairman, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People Provisional Council, Prof. Ben Naanen, said Ogoni people were also demanding that the derivation fund be paid directly to the oil communities.
“The state governments have failed to use the funds to develop the communities. So, we demand that another structure should be established, he said.
Oil communities, in a letter signed by elders from six oil producing states Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Edo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states Ã¢â‚¬â€œ had last week petitioned the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, to stop payment of the 13 per cent derivation fund to states accounts.
They proposed that a derivation board should be established to administer the fund and suggested that it should be comprised of an executive chairman, secretary and a member from RMAFC.