Northern delegates want return of onshore/offshore dichotomy
Northern delegates yesterday called for the re-introduction of onshore/offshore dichotomy to enable non-oil producing states benefit from revenue received from oil exploration and exploitation carried out off-shore.
This call was made by Ambassador Sule Mai, an Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), from North East and another delegate from Sokoto State, Engineer Sulaiman Bello.
These delegates in their various submissions argued that oil producing states are receiving billions oil revenue after their 13 percent derivation at the detriment of their non-oil producing counterparts.
They said the law that abrogated the onshore/offshore dichotomy should be repealed to enable states other than those producing oil to benefit from off-shore revenues in line with international law and practice.
However, Professor Nsongurua Udombana, from Akwa Ibom State rejected the northern delegates’ suggestion, saying that no international law as cited by the speakers can dictate to a country what to do within its locality.
He said instead, sections of the 1999 Constitution that vest authority on the central government with regard to the control of natural resources to the exclusion of the states where they are domesticated should be abrogated in the spirit of true federalism.
Udombana stated that the problem of Nigeria was not lack of resources but inability of the leaders to successfully harness these resources for the benefit of the people.