Senators from region where oil has been discovered recently were reprimanded for pushing for their States to be included in the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), by their Niger Delta region counterparts on Wednesday.
This followed a lead debate on a Bill for an Act to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the inclusion of new old producing areas and states (into NDDC and other matters connected therewith sponsored by Senator Adeola Solomon Olamilekan (Lagos West).
The Bill which seeks to accommodate states that have attained the status of Oil Producing States into the Niger Delta Development Commission, was read for the first time in the Red Chamber on Tuesday 17th December, 2019.
Earlier in his lead debate the Lagos West lawmaker argued that, “following the discovery of Oil in Bauchi, Lagos and Ogun, these states have officially joined the League of Oil Producing States in Nigeria following the discovery of crude oil in Alkaleri Local Government, Bauchi; Badagry, Lagos, and Ipokia, Ogun state.
“By virtue of this, the states are entitled to the 13 percent derivation that is due to oil producing states according to the provision of Section 162 Sub-Section 2 of the Nigeria Constitution.”
He further argued that the purpose of the Bill is for the Act to make provision for new states who have joined the league of Oil producing states in Nigeria and for states that might eventually discover oil in the Future as opposed to the present position of the Act which only covers Oil producing states within the Niger Delta region.
Furthermore, the inclusion of the new oil producing states in the Act saves costs and follows precedence.
“In conclusion, this amendment is to accord the same provisions of the law amongst other benefits accrued to oil producing states in Nigeria to the new oil producing states and future oil producing states” Senator Adeola so submitted.
But in swift reaction, Senators from the Niger Delta region did not waste time knocking the sponsor of the Bill describing the Bill as selfish-like and dead on arrival.
Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege having exhausted his submission, described Senator Solomon Adeola as a meddlesome interloper.
He said: “We look forward to the day when indeed all states in Nigeria will not only produce oil but produce one form of mineral resource or the other.
“Dealing with the issue of 13 per cent derivation. To us that is not an issue to the extent that they produce oil in commercial quantity and DPR so determines, that oil is been sold, and revenue is sent to the federation account. That is not the issue yet. The issue is whether or not just because they are oil producing they should come under NDDC, if you are looking for meddlesome interlopers, you don’t have to go too far to find one”
“What this lead debate clearly shows that my colleague from Lagos is a classic meddlesome interloper. The Niger Delta Development Commission is a regional development commission. We must draw a distinction between the NDDC and the oil and mineral producing commission”
On his part, Senator Sekibo congratulated states that have recently attaining the status of Oil Producing States but wonder if they have had attained the status of producing in commercial quantity.
The bill however scaled the second reading.