Cede onshore minerals to oil producing states—Kumalia

A two-term member of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Kumalia, has called for the ceding of all onshore oil minerals to the oil producing states.

Kumalia, who made the call at the ongoing Annual National Political Summit in Abuja, also proposed the scrapping of all intervention programmes in the Niger-Delta.

He presented a paper titled “Reforming the Nigerian Federation –The North East Perspective.

Kumalia, said however, that his stance was a personal one not that the North East as a region.

He said that there were interventions schemes designed to palliate the oil the producing states in order to ensure equity and give a sense of belonging.

“These initiatives started from Ompadec during the Ibrahim Babangida days. Today, we have 13 per cent derivation enshrined in the constitution, Niger-Delta Development Commission, abolition of onshore-offshore dichotomy by an Act of parliament and the Amnesty Progrmmme.

“However, the agitation for the control of resources has continued and does not seem like it will end anytime soon.

“Each time a new president is elected, the agitation for resource control is renewed and the government is inundated with demand throughout its tenure.

“In order to have peace, this problem has to be resolved once and for all; I would therefore advocate for the ceding of control of all onshore oil minerals to the oil producing states and the abolition of these intervention programmes.

“The Federal Government can then prescribe the tax payable by the states on these oil resources.’’

Kumalia said that for the proposal to be achieved, the onshore-off shore dichotomy law had to amended to its original position in order to restrict the control of the onshore resources to 12 nautical miles in accordance with international law.

He said that any oil resource outside of 12 nautical miles belongs to the federation and any revenue derived therefrom should be shared between the federal government and all states of the federation in accordance with the revenue sharing formula.

On local government autonomy, he advocated that the local governments remain a tier of government with funding coming to them directly from the federation account and not through any state and local government joint account.

“I will also advocate that that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct elections into local government councils.

“This way, the local governments will not only be a tier of government, but will also be independent,’’ he said.

Chairman of the Board, Save Nigeria Group, Dr Gregory Ibe, had told newsmen that the three-day event would provide a platform where various agitations in the country would be discussed. (NAN)

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