After three weeks of debate the National Conference committee on devolution of power finally resolved to retain the 13 percent derivation formula and onshore/offshore as provided in the constitution.
After seven hours deliberation, the committee said every matter regarding reintroduction of onshore-offshore oil dichotomy, increase or decrease in derivation principle and resource control was resolved through consensus.
The committee said as it is now, derivation principle still stands at 13 percent as contained in the 1999 Constitution for every mineral producing areas; while the issue of resource control can only be reviewed upward after amendment of Section 44(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Barring any change of position when the decision gets to the conference plenary, the committee resolved that on a monthly basis, 4.5 percent of federal revenue would be set aside for the development of natural resources in all the states of the federation. It is to be called Fund for Solid Mineral Development.
Co-chairman of the committee, Obong Victor Attah, explained that during the close-door session, every delegate was given opportunity to state his position on the issues and that at the end, there were contrary positions on all the issues without any party agreeing to shift grounds.
He said while the issue of resource control attracted passionate arguments from a section of the delegates and an equally passionate opposition from others, it was finally resolved that with the amendment of Item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative List, certain aspects of resource control have been taken care of.
Source: Daily Trust