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Lagos Chamber canvasses resource ownership by host communities

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has suggested that each state of the Federation should be given a  sense of ownership of resources in its domain. The President of LCCI, Chief Solomon Onafowokan, said at the LCCI  quarterly press briefing on Thursday in Lagos that host communities should be allowed a stake in such resources.

Onafowokan said that it would go a long way in addressing the problem on payment of derivation and royalties to host  communities. According to him, the policy should apply to all forms of resources, not just crude oil.

It should also  cover commercial activities from which revenue can be generated. He said that such a system would foster “ Economic  Democracy’’, and that it would promote economic justice, which is fundamental to peaceful co-existence among the  various sections of the country. “It is equitable because there is a relationship between economic contribution and  economic benefits.

“The good thing is that each geo-political zone in the country is blessed with various forms of natural and  commercial resources now lying untapped because of lack of incentives to attract investors,” he said.He said that  Lagos State should benefit from the principle of derivation through revenue realised from company tax, port charges,  Value Added Tax (VAT), Education Tax and Import Duty.“The derivation principle should not be limited to the oil  producing areas. It should be extended to cover all forms of resources from which revenues are generated in all  parts of the country.

“What is good for the Niger Delta is good for other parts of the country,’’ he added.Onafowokan condemned the  attack on Atlas Cove, saying that the political leadership in the Niger Delta region should show some restraint in  their utterances in order not to unduly escalate the crisis.
He said that the attack could escalate Nigeria’’s country risk, create panic among investors, trigger capital  flight, slow down domestic investments and compound the unemployment and poverty situation in the country.


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