Revenue Formula: Assembly Flays Northern Gov’s Stand

BY LUCKY OYIBO
Delta State House of Assembly has condemned the call by the Northern Governors Forum,for the review of the revenue sharing formula with the intent of reducing the already miserable 13 per cent derivation formula for the oil-producing states.
Besides, it commended and encouraged the effort of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for its prompt reaction and effort at galvanizing other sister south-south region and other progressive governors across the federation in rejecting the call and advocating for true federalism.
The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion brought before it by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Johnson Erijo and seconded by Hon. (Mrs.) Ameachi Mrakpor, representing Aniocha South constituency.
Leading the debate, Erijo decried the comment credited to the Governor of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida who while reportedly speaking on behalf of Northern Governors, called for the reduction of the miserable 13 per cent derivation formula accruable to Niger-Delta region.

According to him, section 162 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria supported 13 per cent minimum derivation for oil producing states of the federation, adding that the governor’s call was not only provocative, but insulting to the people of the Niger-Delta.
He drew the attention of lawmakers to the period of cocoa and groundnut pyramid when the Northern and Western region were enjoying 50 per cent derivation, urging his colleagues to support the motion as it is only the 13 per cent that is developing and keeping the region afloat.
However, the House also urged all states House of Assembly in Niger-Delta to pass similar resolution condemning the call by the Northern governors following amendment on the motion moved by Hon. Rufus Akpodiete and seconded by Hon. Keston Okoro representing Udu constituency.
Other lawmakers including Monday Igbuya, Taleb Tebite, Ameachi Mrakpor, Tim Owhwefwre, Samuel Mariere, Irene Imilar, Efe Ofobroku, Rufus Akpodiete, Keston Okoro, John Nani, Oboro Preyor and Essien Okiemutesupported the adption of the motion, saying true federalism was the only panacea for the proper development of the South-South region.
The former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sam Obi, Hon. Dennis Omovie and Hon. (Mrs.) Ameachi Mrakpor differed in their submission on the ground that it was a constitutional matter.
Sam Obi, who led the opposition group, said the issue raised by Governor Aliyu Babangida was personal to him and it has nothing to do with lawmaking since the statement do not emanated from Niger State House of Assembly.
The opposing group could not stop the adoption of the motion, as it scaled through following a voice vote put forward by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei.
Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has sent a proposed DESOPADEC budget of N37 billion to the state House of Assembly for scrutiny and approval as announced by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei.
The Proposed budget which was received for scrutiny and further approval was committed to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for submission to the House in two weeks.