*Seeks relocation of oil firms to host communities
Port Harcourt — Six State governors in the South South geopolitical zone, on Friday demanded for the upward review of oil derivation formula from the present 13percent to 50percent.
Similarly, the zone has also demanded for immediate relocation of the headquarters of oil companies to their host communities.
These, amongst other demands were the resolution of the governors, local governments and people of the Zone at the 2-day public hearing on the Review of Revenue Allocation Formula, organised by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
The event held in Port Harcourt, had the six State Commissioners for Finance in the zone, as representatives of their various state governors, as well as local government chairmen, civil society groups and stakeholders from the six states of the zone.
Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Fidelis Ekenwo, who read the position of the zone, said the governors rather than balkanised their presentations, decided to put together one resounding voice, to address the situation as it concerns the zone.
Ekenwo demanded for the accordance of Cross River State a special status, following the ceding of Bakassi peninsula and several oil wells to Cameroon to by the Federal Government, without any input from the people of the state.
He also said allocation to the states should increase to the basis of 42percent to states, 35 and 23 to the Federal Government and local governments respectively, adding that allocating more money to the federal promotes wastes and inefficiency at the federal level.
“The people of South South wants the 13percent derivation to be moved up immediately. We are recommending that the new derivation should be 50percent. We are clearly unhappy because we believe that the current 13percent is not doing anything for us.
“Every state should take charge of their resources and contribute an agreed percentage to the centre forthe services of the Federal Government.
“Oil companies should relocate their headofffices and operational base to areas of their operation.
“In the South South, any state that suffers any negative impact also affects other states. We are asking that there should be a special status for Cross River State. The country is clearly aware that the Bakassi peninsula and several oil wells in Cross River state was ceded away to Cameroon by the federal government of Nigeria following the implementation of the Green Tree Agreement.
“This action was carried out unilaterally by the federal government without any consensus by the people of Cross River. Hence, a special status should be accorded the state and a special fund of 1.5percent of the federation account should be given to them.
“Finally, we are demanding that the revenue sharing formula should be increased to 42percent to state, 35 to federal govenrment and 23 to Local Governments.”