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Rivers communities allege misuse of derivation fund

A group, Concerned Leaders of the Rivers State Oil and Gas Producing Communities, has urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to pay the 13 per cent derivation fund for oil-and-gas-producing communities directly to them.

The group, in a statement by its Chairman, Mr James Njoku; and Secretary, Ambassador Lucy Ikiriko, described the continued payment of the revenue allocation through state governors as illegal “with oil and gas on the Exclusive Legislative List.”

According to it, over N44tn of the fund has been “mismanaged, embezzled and diverted” since its introduction.

The statement read, “It is only the President or head of state that has the prerogative and jurisdiction on all matters on the Exclusive Legislative List. No governor or state Assembly can legislate on matters on the Exclusive List.

“Therefore, it is illegal and unconstitutional for governors of the South-South states and their Assemblies to legislate on oil/gas 13 per cent derivation fund which is first-line charge in the Federation Account.

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“We wish to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the illegal and unconstitutional payment of 13 per cent derivation fund through state governors and pay same directly to the host communities through the proposed Presidential Derivation Committee and State Implementation Committees.”

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