Niger Delta group raises alarm over plot to scrap 13% oil derivation

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A Niger Delta Group under the aegis of South-South Study Group, 3SG, has raised the alarm over the alleged plot by some federal legislators to remove the 13 percent oil derivation.

The 3SG in a statement Tuesday, signed by Prince Otoks Dan-Princewill, claimed
that the plot was being hatched by 59 lawmakers from the northern part of the country.

The statement said that if nothing was done to stop the plot, it would ignite chaos in the South, particularly in the South-South, by presenting a highly controversial bill to expunge a provision in the 1999 Nigeria Constitution.

It explained that the effect of the bill if passed into law would be a further attack on the sensibilities of four, out of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, adding “If the bill becomes law, the South-South zone, in particular, will be in grave danger, putting oil and gas assets at risk, and certainly igniting yet another round of rapid degeneration into chaos, violence, and instability.”

According to the statement, “This strange Bill will turn the South-South which presently is the only zone that remains relatively peaceful in Nigeria to rapidly degenerate back to militancy and restiveness.

“The Bill seeks to remove the mere 13% the South-South zone gets from the oil obtained for the zone, and otherwise cause inter-communal clashes and restive disharmony.

“Rather than pursue how every zone can get over 13% to the 50% agreed at independence to stimulate productivity and derivation benefits in all states, these legislators are working to remove the meager 13%.

“This brazen attempt to destroy the already badly damaged national cohesion comes after deliberately stoked conflicts and sustained violent eruptions in the South West and southeast zones.

“The North Central zone has remained a killing field, a zone of Internally Displaced Persons IDPs Camps. Refugees in their own country, displaced by foreigners for whose benefit all sorts of stratagem have been suggested and introduced to settle these stranger marauders in Nigeria with the help of a federal government that shares ethnic, religious, and cultural affinities with these strangers from distant lands.

“Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution states that
……”.The President upon receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, landmass terrain as well as population density,
provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved formula as being not less than thirteen percent of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resource.”

It further said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the no less than 13% provision is itself widely considered meager and a palpable injustice in the South-South zone. The pollution, destruc, notion of the environment, ecosystem, and the livelihoods of the communities in the zone as well as the fact that other zones consistently received 50% derivation when their economic contributions were larger deepen the sense of injustice.

“Indeed every Nigerian Constitution, and there have been many, pre-independence and post-independence Constitutions have all stipulated 50% derivation principle except when exiting Military Governments, Northern in character, have like the 1999 Constitution imposed derivation principle by diktat, which is how the current 13% was derived (2% in 1989 under Gen Babangida and 13% in 1994 Under General Abacha).
An attempt to upturn the foundational principles of equity and justice of the increasingly uncomfortable straight jacket forced and unquestionable so carefree will-negotiable unity without free will is an unpatriotic recipe for national calamity.

“Let the National Assembly be aware that the persistent controversial passing of bills by controversial voice vote, by teleguided and non-transparent process, adjudged or openly or seemingly corrupt practices including these sectional irredentist manicures all tend to deoptimize the National Assembly, its democratic credentials, it’s representative and federal character underpinnings.

“Needless to say that Nigeria has problems enough, with the South-South grappling with sundry challenges including grievances over the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act that already has its teeming population on edge, the South-South Study Group (3SG) therefore urges that all true patriots and stakeholders should work for national cohesion, justice, equity and peace and refrain from such deliberate provocation.
A word is enough for the wise.”

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