17 February 2016, Lagos – Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to allow oil-producing states have full control of their oil resources.
Tam-George said the 1969 Petroleum Act, which vested the ownership of revenues from petroleum resources in the Federal Government, should be repealed.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, the commissioner said the control of oil resources by the Federal Government was at variance with the spirit of true federalism.
While commending the anti-corruption war, Tam-George urged the Federal Government to also tackle ‘structural corruption’ in the country, alleging that the Federal Government was indirectly stealing from the Niger Delta.
He said, “We align with the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war but we are worried that structural corruption, which manifests in the inability of the Niger Delta states to control their oil resources, should be addressed. Seventy-four per cent of the national revenue disbursed to states comes from the Niger Delta, 20 per cent comes from the South-West, the remaining eight per cent is contributed by the South-East.
“The 1969 Petroleum Act has to be repealed. The control of oil resources by the Federal Government is a case of the state stealing from itself. This is structural corruption that must be checked. We are advocating that states should control their resources.”
Tam-George warned the All Progressives Congress against fomenting violence ahead of the legislative election reruns in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission says that it will be unbiased in the conduct of the March 19 election reruns coming up in the state.
INEC promised that it would conduct fair and credible poll reruns in the state.
The Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, said this on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the commission in Port Harcourt.
Ikoiwak, who said he had supervised several elections in over 10 states, called on political parties and candidates to adhere to the electoral guidelines.
The REC promised that the commission would provide a level playing field for all the contestants in the elections.
He also urged the electorate not to vote if electoral materials were not available at the polling units on the day of the polls.