By Amgbare Ekaunkumo, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government has urged members of the incoming 10th National Assembly from the Niger Delta to vigorously agitate for an upward review of the 13% crude oil derivation formula to a minimum of 25%.
The state Governor, Senator Douye Diri gave the charge at the 108th session of the state Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Government House, Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor expressed regret that the 13% oil derivation formula which was subject to a periodic review has remained stagnant since 2003.
He also called on the President-Elect, Senator Bola Tinubu, to fulfill his promises, especially on resource control for the sake of equity and fairness to the people of the Niger Delta, who are suffering the brunt of crude oil production in the country.
While expressing appreciation to Bayelsans for their large turn out yesterday (Tuesday) to celebrate and honour Iate Ijaw icon, Major Isaac Adaka Boro, he recalled that the issues of Boro’s struggle which included injustice, inequality, self-determination and self-recognition still persist.
He asserted that the Ijaws who were the largest tribe before being balkanized into several states by the Nigerian state following the Arthur Richard Constitution, deserved to be accorded recognition, which is one of the issues Boro agitated for.
Senator Diri therefore called on the President-elect, Senator Bola Tinunu to improve on the derivation formula to at least 25% as a champion of resource control himself towards addressing inequalities inherent in the revenue allocation system.
His words: “We use this opportunity to encourage our members in the National Assembly to agitate for the upward review of the 13% derivation formula which has remained stagnant for too long.
“Since 2003, the derivation formula has remained unchanged. We believe that the incoming administration of Senator Bola Tinunu who is an advocate of resource control, when he gets on the saddles as president.
“The incoming President has to make an improvement on the current 13% derivation formula to make it a minimum of 25% for a start and a maximum of 80% before he leaves office.”
While applauding Bayelsans particularly the youths for their peaceful conduct during the Boro Day celebration, he stressed the need for them to recalibrate their approach towards actualizing the Ijaw struggle.
The Bayelsa Chief Executive also reiterated his call on the youths to be law abiding before, during and after the November 11 Governorship Election in the state and always engage themselves in meaningful endeavours.
“I also want to commend our youths who gave a better representation of Boro during this year’s celebration. We are happy that there was no brigandage and no criminality.
“Our youths need to recalibrate their approach to the Ijaw struggle so that investors will find our environment friendly. By our actions or inactions we have scared investors away to other parts of the country. So, let us now turn a new leaf for our own good”, he said.