Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has knocked the Federal Government over its double standards in handling the issue of resource control, saying if people are allowed to process their solid minerals, they should also be allowed to do same for their oil.
Gov. Okowa said this yesterday at his 2020 quarterly media interaction in Asaba, Delta State capital.
The Governor noted that gold mining by Zamfara State government is clearly an illegality, warning that if the matter was not properly addressed, South-South governors would have no option than to assume control of oil and gas in their states.
“South-South governors before now have been talking about the need for restructuring and need for resource control, obviously, we are on that because we feel there is the need to restructure not only the country but the management of resources.
“But as at today, there are acts in the National Assembly that guide the issue of oil production and with the solid minerals, those are not covered in these acts and obviously, this is already a sore point in our nation’s governance system and we hope to express this very strongly during the meeting taking place in Portharcourt on Friday,” the Governor said.
“We cannot apply laws in our nation to the point that it becomes discriminatory because if people are allowed to process for their solid minerals, they should also be allowed to do same for their oil. So we are going to be very hard and try to make our voice as strong as possible during the meeting.
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“I believe that at some point in time, these discriminatory tendencies will have to be revisited in our nation,” the Governor added.
Speaking on the demands by oil-bearing communities in the state to manage the 13 percent derivation accrued to them, the Governor said the constitution is very straight forward on how derivation monies should be handled and who should handle it.
He noted that if every community rises and say they want to control their resources, Nigeria will eventually become a Banana Republic and there will be no control, hence no country or state.
“I believe that having voted governors and lawmakers, we should allow them manage these resources and if they are not doing enough, we can vote them out in the next four years,” he added.
Governors of the oil-rich Niger Delta region, ministers, lawmakers and other stakeholders would meet on Friday in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, to deliberate and take a position on the issue of resource control and other sundry issues.