Nigeria needs fiscal federalism ultimately, says Ndoma-Egba
DPR urges landlords to sue tenants who store fuel in homes
Former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), has said that Nigeria ultimately needs fiscal federalism, maintaining, however, that the country will achieve it in a gradual manner.
He stated this while reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent signing of the Petroleum Act amid criticism from the Niger Delta people.
Ndoma-Egba, who spoke in a radio programme in Calabar monitored at the weekend, said: “For me, what should be our final destination in our federalism is fiscal federalism in which every state should be in a position to control its resources. That should be our ultimate decision.
“But before we get there, we are looking at incremental improvement in our situation. If the host communities actually wanted more than three per cent, there should have been some engagement between stakeholders of the region and their legislators in the National Assembly prior to passage of the bill.
“If the stakeholders are dissatisfied with the three per cent that has been provided for in the bill, then it is a clear evidence of failure of politics in the region.
“That is because for a sensitive issue like that, there usually ought to have been a high level stakeholders engagement where the governors, National Assembly members, traditional rulers, major players in the region and experts from the region on how to proceed,” he said.
He argued that there was no evidence of robust engagement before passage of the bill, insisting it was a question of the failure of politics and that the Niger Delta people were crying after spilled milk.
“Steps ought to have been taken long before now to engage one another to ensure that their interests were protected, but I did not see such engagement,” he said.
Ndoma-Egba, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), canvassed workable mechanism for transparency and accountability of whatever the Niger Delta region got.
MEANWHILE, the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) has charged landlords to sue tenants, who store illegal petroleum products in their homes for arson, describing it is a societal crime.
Zonal Controller of DPR in Port Harcourt, Goddey Ineh, who attributed fire outbreaks to illegal storage of petrol in homes, assured that the agency would begin to trace those who perpetrate such acts.
Ineh spoke in the Port Harcourt office at the weekend said: “Apart from indiscriminate storage of petrol, breaking of oil pipelines, stealing of crude, illegal refining of petroleum products are also rife in the Niger Delta region.”
Ineh, however said, Bayelsa was becoming an investment opportunity, disclosing that there were no depots, but only retail outlets in the state.