By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
WARRI- IN an apparent denunciation of Governors of the Niger-Delta states, former Federal Minister for Information and South-South leader Chief Edwin Clark has called on the Federal Government to stop paying 13 per cent Derivation to the oil communities through the governments of the oil states, saying it was unconstitutional.
He lamented that oil and gas producing communities have had little or nothing to show in the past 13 years for the over N7.282 trillion collected by the state governments
For some years running, oil communities have been at daggers drawn with their state governments, some of which had set up state oil agencies to manage the Derivation fund on grounds that they were being shortchanged by governors, who refused to released the 13 per cent in full.
Chief Clark made the call in Warri, Wednesday, while hosting the leadership of oil and gas producing communities of Nigeria, led by the traditional prime minister of Gbaramatu kingdom and former chair of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Chief Wellington Okirika.
He said only direct allocation of all 13 per cent fund through an administrative committee would guarantee rapid transformation of the deprived and neglected oil and gas producing communities
The elder statesman stated that there was nowhere in the 1999 Constitution that it was stipulated 13 per cent Derivation Fund should be paid through any state government, saying, “The Federal government should stop paying the 13 per cent Derivation Fund through the state governments.”