Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has denied insinuations alleging plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to reintroduce the controversial on-shore-off-shore dichotomy intended to deprive the littoral states of Akwa lbom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Lagos, among others, of the derivation content of revenue allocation.
It has also denied claims that Akwa Ibom State contributes a greater part of the nation’s revenue from off-shore oil, describing those behind the allegations as malicious and false alarmists.
The government explained that the committee on proposal for re-structuring of Nigeria report led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, “had recommended to allow the states control resources and devolve more powers to them and consequently increase allocation to the states, of which Akwa Ibom is among.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, while addressing State House Correspondents, corrected the misconception arising from the El-Rufai-led committee.
The Governor el-Rufai-led committee had recommended among others, “To promote the unity of the country and ensure that states are more financially empowered to deliver services to their residents, as well as ensure no one feels disadvantaged that the Federal Government should expeditiously review derivation principle to reflect areas of consensus, which are adoption of ‘state control of resources and pay the Federal Government,’ upward review of the current formula in favour of states and adoption of similar derivation formula in favour of solid minerals and power generation.”
According to Enang, “the apprehension of the contenders is that the recommendation says that the oil, gas and other minerals devolved to the state and that off-shore belongs to the Federal Government.
“I submit that by God’s special providence, arising from the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of AG. Federation v. AG, Abia State & 35 Ors (2002) 6 NWLR (part 764) 542-905. I played central co-ordinating role in the abolition of the on-shore-off-shore dichotomy in the House of Representatives and my brother, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, now Minister of Budget and National Planning, led in the Senate.
“Upon the judgment in 2002, the Federal Government, at the leader of Emeritus Governors Obong Victor Attah (AKS), DSP Alamieyesigha (Bayelsa), James Ibori (Delta) and Peter Odili (Rivers) agreed with the Federal Government on behalf of the littoral states for a political solution, and this was worked out legislatively.