Lose of 76 oil wells: Govt seeks reprieve for Cross River

01 November 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday summoned a meeting on the resolution of the loss of the 76 oil wells by Cross River to Akwa Ibom.

Jonathan was represented at the meeting by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, while the governors of Cross River and Akwa Ibom, Sen. Liyel Imoke, and Chief Godswill Akpabio, were respectively in attendance.

Others at the meeting were the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, and the Director-General, National Boundary Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed.

A statement issued by Malam Umar Sani, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media, said the meeting examined the judgment of the Supreme Court on the matter.

“While making a presentation, the Chairman Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission stated that the commission met many times to find ways to advise government on the need to provide succour to Cross River due to the financial discomfort it suffered by the judgment of the Supreme Court.

“The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, especially Section 5, sub-section 7 stipulates that for the purposes of the Act and for avoidance of doubt, where any state of the federation suffers any loss which is outside its control, the Stabilisation Fund shall be used to give succour to such a state,” the statement said.

It said the meeting also examined the new security challenges posed at the Bakassi Peninsula on the loss of innocent lives through the activities of some foreign bodies.

The meeting further noted that as the Green Tree Agreement is nearing expiration and that measures should be taken to address such security challenges.

The vice-president directed that a detailed report with relevant evidence be provided to enable government to act decisively.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Akpabio said the meeting also examined the challenges of insecurity in the Bakassi Peninsular.

He said “for me, it was a very good meeting and we discussed how to ensure that our sister state of Cross River is also happy with the situation, so that the challenges they may be facing may be ameliorated in a way that will show that there is really a sense of belonging to the Nigerian federation.

“Re-settlement will continue to be a problem because of some of our people who opted to remain in the peninsula by 2013 when the final withdrawal of who wants to be a citizen and who wants to remain.

“I think we still have the problem of influx of people into the country. It is proper that we begin to prepare for refugee crises that may still rare its head outside those who are already here now.”

On the issue of Nigeria buying over the peninsula, Akpabio said the idea would be pursued by the Federal Government “if the price is not too high”.

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