Confab committee deadlocked again over resource control, derivation principle

ABUJA – The National Conference Committee on Devolution of Power emerged from a seven-hour closed-door deliberations on Monday without a decision on the twin issues of derivation principle and resource control.

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The committee could equally not resolve the arguments from different geo-political zones that the onshore-offshore oil dichotomy be reintroduced in states which minerals are located off the coasts.

Most of the members declined comments when asked to speak on their individual positions on the issues that have attracted intense debate for weeks now.

However, Co-Chairman of the Committee, Obong Victor Attah told journalists after the morning session that each of the committee members had opportunity to state his positions on the issues.

Attah, a former Akwa Ibom State Governor, was optimistic that the committee would arrive at a decision by the end of the day.

This was, however, not to be at the close of sitting on Monday but Attah said the committee had completed debates on the issues.

The co-chairman said that by Tuesday morning he was confident that a decision that would not rob any part of the country of its rights would be taken.

He said after every member had spoken on the issues it was decided that they should all go and ponder over the issues raised by individuals.

According to him, every member is expected to come back “refreshed” on Tuesday morning for a final decision to be taken on the contentious issues.

He said committee members were advised not to take any decision in the direction that would create dis-equilibrium in the system.

He explained that members were also admonished to think beyond oil and gas as the only mineral resources in the country.

Members from the North had last week, spoken in support of a reduction in derivation principle or at best, retention of the existing 13 per cent.

However, members from the South, particularly those from the South-South geo-political zone, wanted an increment to 50 per cent. (NAN)

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