Say 13% is too small, don’t annoy us
SOUTHERN delegates are not taking lightly to the clamour of the North through a document circulated to northern delegates that onshore/offshore dichotomy should be applied and derivation should be reduced to five per cent for oil resources explored onshore.
Let them try and see – Ankio Briggs
Ms Ankio Briggs, a Federal Government delegate said: “If they like they can call for zero derivation. If they are calling for a reduction from 13 percent, which we are saying we want increased to 50 per cent, I would want to see where it is coming from. Let us all be sensible here. If we remember, in the 2005 conference, the agreement was 18 percent. It is documented and the demand was for 50 percent derivation; immediately 25 percent and subsequently increased every year until it reaches 50 percent.
That was what the South-South requested for at that time. And when it was refused the South-South walked out. That was what we requested for and we rejected the 18 percent. I don’t think any reasonable person is going to expect that we will take anything less than what we have requested for at that time or will accept anything less than even the 18 percent that was offered in 2005. So, anybody who wants to be troublesome and is requesting reduction from 13 percent to 5 percent, the person will see the reaction of the people on whose land the oil is coming from.”
It is not possible –Erhagbe
On his part, Professor Eddy Erhagbe, Edo State delegate and member Devolution of Power Committee, said: “There is no doubt that there are different positions in terms of the percentage. The South-South and others who are directly benefiting are asking for an increase on the 13 percent while those from the non-producing areas are asking for a reduction. These are two extreme positions but I believe that we are likely going to work for a compromise as has been exhibited in other decisions this committee has already reached. I am very optimistic that at the very worse, we will retain the 13 percent that is on the ground.
Going below it, I don’t think is going to work because the real challenges that led to that being inserted in the constitution still remains and for you to now change it, you have to go through the whole hog of constitutional amendment. And I am sure that without necessarily threatening, the South-South will be able stand on its own to say that that issue should not come down but instead it should go up because that is the constitutional provision we have right now.”
I’m not aware of reduction demand – Attah
Co-Chairman of the Devolution of Power Committee and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, said: “Who are these people that are demanding for reduction? I am not aware. The northern delegates in this committee have always behaved with the greatest sense of responsibility and with authentic and genuine desire to live together with their brothers in the South, West and every where else and they have demonstrated the maturity I must admire, otherwise there was no way we could have reached where we have reached with the decisions that we have taken in this committee.
So, I am not aware of that. What has even been muted in this committee is the fact that derivation is the issue and we have been looking at ways to increase it since indeed every part of this country is going to enjoy derivation based on whatever resources that are obtained from their area that contribute to the federation account.
I have not been able to identify the author of this collective demand. Don’t just bring a paper and make a collective demand. I deal with this committee and I will take the report of this committee to plenary and I believe that the report of this committee will show that what is been speculated or circulated cannot possibly be true.”