Port Harcourt — A Bill seeking to pay the 13 percent oil derivation funds, directly to oil producing host communities, has passed first reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.
If passed into law, the 13 percent derivation funds will be paid directly to the host communities of each benefiting states through the Host Communities Development Commissions.
A section of the bill recommended that “failure of any state to establish the Host Communities Development Commission shall be deemed as an offence, and such a state shall forfeit 30 percent of her monthly benefit from the 13 percent derivation fund, till such a time that the Commission is established.”
Sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency from Rivers State, said the bill ‘Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1570)’, is intended to address and correct the injustices the oil producing communities have been experiencing.
Before the presenting the Bill, Dagogo accused governors of the Niger Delta states, of wasting N10 trillion from the derivation funds over the years
“This is a very sad commentary as it relates to the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta. The 13 per cent derivation is the fund set aside to assist oil-producing communities to tackle infrastructural decay and degradation, emphasis on the oil-producing communities.
“What it means basically is that in sharing the federation account revenue, 13 per cent should be set aside to assist the development of these oil-producing communities.
“About two decades down the line what is there to show for the humongous monies that have come in? The Governors, past and present, view it as free monies.
“Between 2000 and 2018, over N10trillion from the 13 per cent derivation principle, have been shared to the Niger Delta Governors, on behalf of the oil-producing communities, yet the deplorable living conditions of the people from these oil-producing communities have remained nauseating and deplorable with the people battling and still reeking with the worst and highest form of poverty.”