02 May 2014, Abuja – AFTER days of verbal fisticuffs among members on whether or not oil and other mineral resources should be moved to the concurrent list or retained in the federal exclusive list, the Committee on Devolution of Powers, yesterday, reached a consensus on the matter.
The consensus is that the items will remain on the exclusive list but the states where the resources are domiciled shall be involved in their exploration.
A statement signed by co-chairmen of the committee, Obong Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomassie on matter at the end the committee session also urged the Federal Government to make funds available for the exploration and development of such resources that had not been tapped hitherto in the states.
The committee instantly got divided last Thursday when the issue was raised with southern and northern delegates being on one another’s throat.
Whereas most southern delegates opted for the concurrent list, their northern counterparts insisted that the status quo must be retained.
This prompted the co-chairmen to ask for closed door session on Tuesday, which did not pay off.
However, after yesterday’s deliberation that lasted for about three hours, the committee members reached a consensus on the controversial matter.
A northern delegate, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said, “We reached a consensus, we agreed that oil and mineral resources should remain in the exclusive list. Everybody is happy with the decision.”
Another northern delegate, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu said the committee resolved the issue amicably, adding: “What we have done will benefit the oil producing areas, non-oil producing areas and the entire country. We are more interested in how the government can develop mineral resources in other states.”
Ms Annkio Briggs, a Niger- Delta activist and member of the committee said, “We are in agreement with the decision.”
*Henry Umoru & Levinus Nwabughiogu-Vanguard