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Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2013

Group Accuses Governors of Mismanaging N8.1tr Derivation Fund, Calls for EFCC Probe

By Theophilus Onojeghen
Governors of Niger Delta oil producing states of Delta, Edo, Ondo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross-Rivers, Abia, Awka-Ibom and Imo have been accused of mismanaging 8.1 trillion naira meant for the development of the oil communities of the respective states, by the leadership of the Oil/Gas Producing Communities.
The group alleged that the said amount collected by Governors of the aforementioned states between year 2000 and June 2013 have either been mismanaged or out-rightly unaccounted for judging by level of poverty and penury that exist in the area.
Oil producing communities in a petition letter to the Chairman of Nigerian Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a Federal Government agency saddled with the responsibilities of investigating the financial abnormalities that has rocked the financial allocations especially the 13 percent allocation in the past 13years of its application.
The group in a petition signed by Chief William Igere, Pastor Macpherson Kurobo, Chief Harry Opaks, Saviour James Okon, Princess Nomwen Uhunmwangho and Comrade Samuel Ebiwanno called on the authority of Economic and Financial Crime Commission to urgently probe the usage of all allocations to the states. They alleged that the 13percent derivation fraud is only second to the recently uncovered frauds in the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria.
To verify their allegations, the group said “we are ready to take any Federal government delegation on tour of the oil/gas producing states to ascertain if actually such huge trillions of naira have been expended for the common good of the populace. Currently Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states received between 120and 200billion yearly as 13percent derivation fund”.
Meanwhile, Urhobo Youth Assembly (UYA) has called for the direct allocation of the 13% derivation funds to oil producing communities through National and states Derivation implementation committees as currently been done under the petroleum subsidy regime.
UYA in a communiqué addressed to the Chairman, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission entitled “Request for Direct Allocation of 13% Derivation to Oil Producing Communities of Nigeria” adding that the allocation should henceforth be paid to the communities directly through National derivation and states implementation committee instead of passing through state governments.
Comrade Jude Akpore, Comrade Frank Onogagamue, and Comrade Akpoboro Umukoro; President, Secretary and PRO whom signed the communiqué on behalf of the group posited that the continuous allocation of 13percent derivation funds through state governors do not eschewed the principle of fairness and equity as eschewed in the constitution..
The communiqué reads in part, “That important section of the constitution says that 13percent derivation fund be paid to the source of derivation and the source of derivation by legal understanding is the oil and gas bearing communities and not the states as currently been practiced and if you recall the recent clamour by the Northern governors against 13percent is not because they are against the allocation of the money to develop the people but they are against our governors collecting money and turning almost the money personal use which is against the constitutional provisions.
”We want state unequivocally that the 13% derivation fund was never part of any State consolidated revenue. Therefore, it is not and was not part of consolidated revenue of the Oil Producing States. This view and position has been upheld by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as contained in their submission to the 6th National Assembly in 2008 during the presidency of the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, in that submission, the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission stated that the 13% derivation fund is not part of the consolidated revenue of any State Government.”
The Urhobo Youth Assembly recalled vividly that at the constitutional conference facts and figures were presented and it was agreed that the people who produced the wealth of this country should not be docile participants but should be actively involved in the management and use of part of the oil money to ensure greater sense of belonging and patriotism so that they can now protect these facilities that is bringing the wealth to their domains and communities.
They observed that “the money does not form parts of any state consolidated revenues. Our prayers is that the leadership of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission should urgently allocate all funds due to 13percert account to the National and states derivation implementation committees as currently obtainable under the petroleum subsidy regime as this remain the surest way of addressing this colossal fraud that is currently ongoing in the oil and gas producing states so that the ideas and the struggle of the founding fathers of the 13% derivation fund will not be in vain. Finally, we also advocate for an urgent upward review of the 13% derivation funds to at least 25% in the name of equity, justice and fair play”.

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