Stalemate on resource control forces confab to adjourn



 

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Stalemate on resource control forces confab to adjourn

JULY 8, 2014 BY OLUSOLA FABIYI AND FRIDAY OLOKOR, ABUJA

 

The inability of the delegates to agree on the percentage of derivation to be paid the oil producing states forced the national conference to adjourn before time on Tuesday.

The conference adjourned at 12:58pm instead of the usual 3:30pm that the delegates had agreed since the commencement of the Ramadan.

While some of the delegates were clamouring for the increase in the derivation fund currently being paid to the zone, which stands at 13 per cent, others, especially those from the northern region, said the status quo must be maintained.

Senator Ibrahim Ida in his contribution, said the status quo must be maintained as recommended by the committee, adding that degradation,  just like it was being experienced in Niger Delta, also took place in the northern part of the country.

He mentioned Plateau State, which he said also faced degradation and appealed to the Federal Government to pay its debt to the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Another delegate from the northern part of the country, Hassan Adamu, while supporting the 13 per cent as recommended by the Committee on Devolution of Power,  said ‎the North-East of Nigeria was completely devastated.

He asked the confab to suggest a Marshall plan to rebuild the North-East, and urged the confab to recommend seven per cent for the Marshall plan.

“We should be our brothers’ keeper,” he said.

Another delegate, Mr. Abubakar Adamu, from Niger State, said  the 13 per cent derivation was good enough adding that “until we see how the 13 per cent  is being utilised, there is  no need to increase it.”

A delegate, Mr.  Sidi Ali, while saying there was no need for increase in the derivation, queried how leaders of the zone were spending their allocation.

He said a former Governor of Rivers state owned the biggest private Hospital in Abuja.

His contribution made a former Governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili, to raise a point of order, saying he was the only former governor  of Rivers State at the confab.

Besides, he said he was the only medical doctor among the former governors and that he was not the owner of such hospital and challenged  Ali to produce his facts.

He threatened to take legal action if Ali failed to do so.

But the Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, said Ali did not mention the name of the former governor he was talking about and so it might not be Odili.

 

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