Derivation: Bayelsa communities want FG to revert to 1982 Revenue Act

Gov Seriake-Dickson19 July 2013, Abuja – Oil producing communities in Bayelsa State have asked the Federal Government to revert to the provisions of the 1982 Act in the disbursement of the 13 per cent derivation fund.

The communities, in a memorandum to the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, argued that the provisions of the 1982 Act allowed that 1.5 percent derivation fund accruable to oil producing communities be managed by them rather than the state government.

They therefore wondered why the status quo was changed with the increase of the derivation fund to 13 per cent. They argued that: “In 1982, the derivation was 1.5 per cent of the total oil revenue. It is pertinent to state that the Revenue Act 1 of 1982 made provision for 1.5 per cent derivation fund for the development of Mineral Producing
Areas in Nigeria. The derivation fund of 1.5 per cent was administered and managed through administrative committee system by Federal Government and not the state governments.

“It is therefore surprising that RMAFC decided to pay the 13 per cent derivation into state government accounts when there is enough evidence from past administrative records and law that derivation fund is a Federal government matter”.

Continuing, the memorandum, signed by 10 leaders of the communities said: “We insist on the provisions of Section 162(2) which states that provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved revenue formula as not less than 13 per cent of the revenue accruing to the federation account directly from any natural resources.

“We do not need an amendment of the constitution for administrative implementation of that provision. From that provision of the constitution, it is clear that 13 per cent derivation fund is in the first line charge of the federation account.

“The 1982 Revenue Act, according to the communities, pre-dates the present revenue formula. The 13 per cent derivation fund is constitutionally set aside before any FAAC meeting shares the balance of the total oil revenue of 87 per cent.”

The signatories to the petition included Ikiobofa Amasamana, Mr. Macpherson Kurobo, Chief Victor Fazie, Hon. Mary Arugu, Leon Kereotubo, Hon. Robert Enaikator Onu, Hon. BomaAlbert, Jack Andela, Azibola Egba and Cordelia Aridu.

– James Emejo, This Day

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