9 November 2000

Nigeria: New Derivation Formula Soon - Mammam

Benin City — Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the verification of disputed oil wells, Major General Bagudu Mamman (rtd), says the Federal Government is working on a new and acceptable formula for the sharing of the 13 per cent derivation fund with a view to ending the bad blood generated among the oil states.

The Presidential Committee, Major General Mamman, told Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State, yesterday, in Benin that the Federal Government "cannot find out the indices to arrive at an acceptable formula except it is able to determine who owns what, the quantum and quality of oil that comes from the oil fields."

He added: "That goes a lot to determine the formula that we will arrive at," explaining that the high powered committee comprising officials of the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission, Surveyor General of the Federation's office, Directorate of Petroleum Resources, Boundary Commission and Navy would look at the issues critically.

He said the mission of the committee to Edo State and other oil states "is to physically verify the claims and counter claims with a view to arriving at a justifiable, acceptable and satisfactory resolution of these issues."

Continuing, he said: "If it were possible to solve these issues from Abuja, our trip to Edo could not have been necessary but the emphasis is on physical verification and this, we intend to do by listening to the officials of the states concerned.

"We listen to their claims, clear one or two areas of doubt and then, of course, the final will be physical visitation to the oil wells or fields, as the case may be, that are in dispute," he asserted.

Governor Igbinedion in his response commended the Presidency for setting up the committee to go round the states to ensure equity, fairness in the country.

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