By Emma Amaize & Gabriel Enogholase
WARRI – IN what appears to be a vote of no confidence on governors of Niger Delta states, former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to stop paying the 13 percent derivation fund to oil producing communities through the governments of their states, saying it was unconstitutional.
He described as sheer greed on the part of governors of oil and gas producing states, to appropriate the 13 percent derivation fund meant for the oil and gas producing communities.
He lamented that oil and gas producing communities had little or nothing to show in the past 13 years for the over N7.282 trillion collected by the state governments.
Chief Clark made the call in Warri, Delta State, yesterday, while playing host to the leadership of Oil and Gas Producing Communities of Nigeria, led by the traditional Prime Minister of Gbaramatu Kingdom and former chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Chief Wellington Okirika.
He said only direct allocation of the 13 per cent fund, through an administrative committee, would guarantee rapid transformation of the deprived and neglected oil and gas producing communities.
He said there was nowhere in the 1999 Constitution, where it was stipulated that 13 percent derivation fund should be paid through any state government, saying: “The Federal Government should stop paying the 13 percent derivation fund through the state governments.
“The provision in the 1999 constitution is clear, 13 percent derivation fund stands on its own. It is not part of any consolidated revenue of any tier of government, nor part of any State Joint Local Government Account; 13 percent derivation fund should, therefore, been treated on its own.”