- Oil producing communities in the Niger Delta have alleged that Niger Delta governors are embezzling the 13 percent derivation funds
- The communities have therefore said the money should no longer be paid through the governors of the region
- They say the communities are not feeling the impact of the fund as needed infrastructure are not being provided
Oil and gas communities in the Niger Delta have revealed that from 2007 to 2014, a total of seven years, not less than one trillion, seventy-four billion, fifteen million, five hundred and eighty-two thousand naira (N 1,074,015,582,000.00) have been remitted to the oil and gas producing communities in the Niger Delta from the 13 percent derivation funds.
But NAIJ.com learnt that chairmen of the host communities say despite the huge wealth from the 13 percent derivation, there is minimal or no impact in the lives of the average dwellers in the coastal areas of the volatile region.
Following the discovery, chairmen of the host communities, led by Sheriff Mulade have resolved that the federal government stop forthwith paying the money through the state governors as they are allegedly embezzling the money to the detriment of the coastal community dwellers.
They claimed that the 13percent derivation meant to develop host communities has become a conduit pipe for governors in the region to embezzle and shortchange the host communities.
Speaking in Warri, Delta state on behalf of flow stations and well head host communities of Nigeria, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu kingdom, lamented lack of federal and state governments’ presence in the coastal oil and gas producing kingdoms.
Mulade said lack of government presence was the main cause of the protests and agitations, justified further by the suspension of the Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko, the only presence of federal government in Gbaramatu kingdom.
"Gbaramatu kingdom is host to over eleven onshore and offshore oil fields and flow stations, which include Abiteye, Otunana and Makaraba oil fields and flow stations operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited; Jones Creek, Egwa I &II and Odidi I & II oil fields and flow stations, operated by the SPDC.
"It is clear that Gbaramatu kingdom is really a major oil and gas producing kingdom and it is therefore entitled to accelerated development from the federal and state governments, as well as multinational oil and gas companies operating in the area.
“There are seven Ijaw kingdoms that are oil and gas producing in Delta state; these are Gbaramatu, Ogulagha, Ogbe-Ijoh, Egbema, Iduwini and Kou kingdoms. These Ijaw kingdoms have a total production quantum of 27% of the oil production capacity of Delta state and are therefore, entitled to 27% of the 13% derivation fund due to Delta state from the Federation Account,” he added.
Mulade said: "However, in Delta state, there is the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) established by laws of the Delta state government. 50% of the 13% derivation fund is allocated to DESOPADEC to bring development to the oil and gas producing kingdoms of Delta state.
"From the year 2007 to 2014, the total monies from federal government in respect of the 13% derivation fund was One trillion, seventy-four billion, fifteen million and five hundred and eighty-two thousand naira (N 1,074,015,582,000.00). Only 50% of this amount, (537,007,791,000) was due to DESOPADEC which is over one hundred and thirty five billion (N 135,000,000,000.00) naira only.”
He further said: "It is therefore clear that the Ijaw oil and gas producing kingdoms have been short-changed in the disbursement of the 13% derivation fund. Similar situations led to series of agitations by other oil and gas producing communities in Nigeria.
“The oil and gas producing communities therefore insist that the 13% derivation fund should be paid directly to them through appropriate structures for the building of hospitals, construction of roads, provision of clean drinking water, provision of electricity, access to job opportunities, safe water ways for transportation, as well as environment matters such as management and control of spills and pollution
"The oil and gas producing communities also affirm that paying the 13% derivation fund through the governors is illegal and unconstitutional, as only the President has the prerogative and jurisdiction on such matters as provided for in the Exclusive Legislative list.
“For emphasis, no state governor and state assembly can legislate or act on any matter in the exclusive legislative list. 13% derivation fund as enshrined in section 162 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) confirms that 13% derivation fund is first-line charge on the Federation Account.”
The communities resolved that the present system of paying the 13% derivation fund through the governors should stop and the fund should be paid through appropriate structure of the Oil and Gas Producing Kingdoms in Nigeria.
Mulade added that payment of 13% derivation fund will end militancy, pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering and it will give host communities a sense of belonging and guarantee security, peace and so create the enabling environment for development and make the paramount rulers responsible to government at all levels.
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