By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – SOUTH-South Governors have jointly demanded 13percent derivation from Federal Government, on the $1billion intended withdrawal from the Excess Crude Account to fund national security.
The governors of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, Rivers, Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Okowa (Rivers) Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom and Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, rising from a late meeting Wednesday in Port Harcourt, adopted the alarm raised by Wike earlier in the week.
Forum’s chairman and Bayelsa governor, Dickson briefed the press afterwards that, “We took the collective view that with respect to FG’s effort to withdraw $1billion for national security, our position in this zone is in line with the constitutional provision on derivation.
“While we have no objection to the FG spending money on security, including security of this zone, we believe the constitutional provision on 13percent derivation be applied and fully respected.
“We will communicate that to the appropriate authorities so that whatever amount withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, being proceed of crude oil sale is subject to the 13 percent principle enshrined in the constitution”
The South-South Governors Forum also called for the withdrawal of the Executive Bill forwarded to the National Assembly, wherein the FG seeks to control the management of waterways.
Dickson further stated that, “We also agreed that the bill currently making rounds in the National Assembly which we understand is an Executive Bill on management of water resources bears provisions offensive and obnoxious.
“We disagree with the centralized control of water resources as we are already dealing with over centralization of our country and we have agreed that the bill should be immediately withdrawn by the FG and further consultations made on that.”
“Everyone is aware of ongoing clamour for devolution and return to essential founding principle of this country. We, in our meeting, resolved that we associate fully with the clamour for restructuring, for true federalism and devolution of powers so concentrated at the centre to the federating units.
“We have agreed to support ongoing moves in that direction by working with like-minded Nigerians who mean well for the country so that we can all have a stable and prosperous and peaceful nation.”