Confab Committee retains 13 per cent derivation

Committee member, Ankio Briggs, kicked against resolution

After five hours of stormy session on Tuesday, the Devolution of Power Committee of the National Conference finally agreed to retain the 13 per cent derivation fund for the oil producing states in Nigeria.

The co-chairman of the Committee, Victor Attah, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the outcome of its meeting.

The committee members had for several days disagreed on whether to reduce or increase the fund which is paid to the nine oil producing states. The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

While the northern delegates pushed for the reduction to five per cent, the south-south delegates demanded an increase to at least 50 per cent.

The northern delegates also wanted the Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, scrapped and the Off-shore/Onshore dichotomy re-introduced.

Mr. Attah, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, said some members of the Committee, who came with fixed positions on the issue of derivation fund as well as on other issues, dropped the positions and embraced the retention of the status quo.

He said, “Some came to this Committee that dichotomy must be introduced, some insisted that payment on derivation must be reduced, while some want the states to own and operate all resources within their areas and only pay taxes to the government.

“We went through all positions and it was unanimously agreed that the last position was not achievable because it is a constitutional issue and amendment must be made before that can be achieved because as it is now all minerals belong to the Federal Government.

“Given that understanding, those people agitating for that drop their position and opted for 50 per cent as minimum payment on derivation. This obviously seems like irreconcilable positions. Maturity and patriotism of the members came to play at this point as we recognized that there were so many mineral resources left unexplored which is causing discontent.

“We also recognized that the 13 per cent given to community with the resource is not enough and some still want government to reduce it because it was felt that with the 13 per cent the people are still impoverished because it was not judiciously applied.

“More than anything, we felt that we must try and maintain the equilibrium that we have in this country today. So that there will be no loser or winners. At the end, everyone withdrew their positions and we reached a unanimous decision that a special fund must be set up to enable the country, with the participation of the states to develop the mineral deposits within their areas.”

Mr. Attah said the committee also recommended that it must be enshrined in the constitution so that nobody could challenge it and also to enable everybody benefit from the derivation.

He added, “That final decision was that let status quo remain, and for sake of equilibrium don’t let us go back and re-open old wounds and inflict new ones.

“There were three components to the derivation, to increase the amount of money that accrues to the Federation Account, that every part of this country should benefit from the derivation payment and more importantly there should be employment all across the country.

“With employment through the development of these resources, the restiveness we are experiencing in this country today will go down.”

Also speaking, the co-chair of the Committee, Ibrahim Coomassie said it recommended the creation of National Welfare Fund, NWF, to take care of the rainy day as well as the establishment of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federal Government as distinct from the Accountant General of the Federation

If eventually adopted, the NWF would replace the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF.

“All the decisions reached are unanimous and the members are happy about it taking into consideration the interest of Nigeria moving forward so that development can be even,” he said.

However, a member of the Committee, Ankio Briggs debunked the claim by the co-chairmen that the decision on the derivation fund was unanimous.

She told journalists that she was not in support of the retention of 13 per cent, noting that her people in the South-South region wanted an upward review of the fund.

Ms. Briggs, who hails from Rivers State, said though she would not write a minority report, she would consult with other South-South delegates and the people of the region back home to know the next step to take.


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  • redeem

    “We have released Northern Nigeria from the leading strings of their empty Treasury. The promising and well conducted youth is now on an allowance and on his own and is about to effect an alliance with a Southern lady of MEANS. I have issued the special license and Sir Frederick Lugard will perform the ceremony. May the union be fruitful and the couple constant”. The comparative economic situation of the two halves of Nigeria has not changed in the last 100 years. Rather, the economic power of the South has continued to increase. This explains the fierce opposition of the Northern elites to true federalism, and a National Conference, which might bring this about. Northern political elite should be grateful to the South, particularly the Niger Delta, the great provider of all resources in 9ja-so why did Attah sell out the SS-I hail from in d SS-owners of yr national feeding bottle-and I am proud of that-go hug Nepa cable if u dont like it-we shall be free one day-

  • redeem

    is this the true federalism that the south west ati other zones elites have been canvassing for-sold us out to the Fulanis again? when u pay lip service to our federal structure-u may without knowing it be postponing the dooms day-we shall be gone one day-this confab is a waste of my resources again

    • Larry

      The whole Southern delegates have sold us out. Where is devolution of power and true federalism?

  • Dr.Dan

    What is the essence of the conference if status quo is retained? Why waste tax payers sorry oil money on a 3 month jamboree when all You achieve is to remain like you came? Its shameful. I though Attah who has been a champion of resource control would be able to lobby delegates to his side and make a positive change.

  • BlackieUmukoro

    Another jamboree. God will come to the rescue of the Niger Delta one day. Meanwhile oil theft must continue, and JTF must vacate our lands to enable us exploit our God given resources. From now onwards, for one legal refinery (they are not illegal), that are destroyed by boko haram (sorry JTF), ten shall be established

  • 12to34

    Nothing NEW will ce out of this conference. If derivation is not increased why the conference in the first place?