In attendance at the meeting were: Bayelsa State Governor, Rt Hon Seriake Dickson, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rt Hon Philip Shaibu.
$1billion Security Fund: South-South Governors demand 13percent Derivation
Briefing journalists after the meeting of the South-South Governors Forum at the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Chairman of the Forum and Bayelsa State Governor, Rt Hon Seriake Dickson stated that the governors resolved to officially communicate to the appropriate authorities for the constitutional provision of 13 percent derivation to be applied and respected.
Seriake said: “We took the collective view that with respect to the Federal Government’s effort to withdraw $1billion for national security, our position in this zone is in line with the constitutional provision on derivation.
“While we have no objection to the Federal Government spending money on security, including security of this zone, we believe the constitutional provision on 13percent derivation be applied and fully respected.
“We will communicate that to the appropriate authorities so that whatever amount that is withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, being proceed of crude oil sale is subject to the 13 percent principle enshrined in the constitution. “
The South-South Governors Forum also called for the withdrawal of the Executive Bill forwarded to the National Assembly, wherein the Federal Government seeks to control the management of waterways.
The South-South Governors declared: “We also agreed that the bill currently making rounds in the National Assembly which we understand is an Executive Bill on management of water resources. We are of the view that the provisions of the bill are offensive and obnoxious.
“We disagree with the centralized control of water resources as we are already dealing with the problem associated with over centralization of our country and we have agreed that the bill should be immediately withdrawn by the Federal Government and further consultations be made on that.”
The South-South Governors further declared their support for restructuring of the country and the devolution of powers to the states.
The governors stated: “Everyone is aware of the ongoing clamour for devolution and a return to essential founding principle of this great country. And we in our meeting resolved as we have been speaking over sometime that we associate fully with the clamour for restructuring, for the clamour for true federalism and for the clamour for devolution of powers that are so concentrated at the centre to the federating units and we have agreed to support ongoing moves in that direction by working with like-minded Nigerians who mean well for the country so that we can all have a stable and prosperous and peaceful nation.”