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Niger Delta: Bill for direct payment of 13% derivatives to Host Communities scales first reading in Reps

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Hon. Farah Dagogo
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Member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Farah Dagogo has sponsored a bill that would make it possible for government to pay 13% derivatives to Niger Delta Host Communities.

The bill passed first reading on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday.

In the draft bill, the lawmaker proposed that the 13% derivation fund will be paid directly to the host communities of each benefiting states through the Host Communities Development Commissions, if it eventually passed into law.

He explained that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended which is undergoing a review would need to be amended again on that so that injustices is intended to address and correct the injustices the oil producing communities have been experiencing.

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In demonstrating its seriousness, a section of the bill recommended that “failure of any state to establish the Host Communities Development Commission shall be deemed as an offence and such a state shall forfeit 30% of her monthly benefit from the 13% derivation fund till such a time that the Commission is established.

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Before the presentation of the bill, the Federal Lawmaker accused the governors of the Niger Delta states, of wasting N10 trillion from the derivation fund in 8 years.

“This is a very sad commentary as it relates to the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta. The 13 per cent derivation is the fund set aside to assist oil-producing communities to tackle infrastructural decay and degradation, emphasis on the oil-producing communities.

“What it means basically is that in sharing the federation account revenue, 13% should be set aside to assist the development of these oil-producing communities.

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“About two decades down the line what is there to show for the humongous monies that have come in? The Governors, past and present, view it as free monies”, he said.

“Between 2000 and 2018, over N10trillion from the 13 per cent derivation principle, have been shared to the Niger Delta Governors, on behalf of the oil-producing communities, yet the deplorable living conditions of the people from these oil-producing communities have remained nauseating and deplorable with the people battling and still reeking with the worst and highest form of poverty”, he noted.

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