Confab Refers Resource Control To FG

Confab

The ongoing National Conference, has referred the key issues to the Federal Government following its failure to reach agreement on the matter.

The confab till August 4, having endured a difficult time debating resource related issues that sharply divided the body into North against South.

At stake was the issue of what percentage increments should be added to oil-producing states, crisis-torn North East and solid mineral-producing areas.

Following its own failure to reach agreement, the confab accordingly advised the Federal Government to raise a technical committee to work out a new revenue formula for the controversial areas.

The delegates have concluded deliberations arising from the 20 standing committees of the conference, but they are still required to consider and approve the final reports of the confab for presentation to the government on August 4.

Delegates formally adopted the Report of the Committee on Devolution of Power but without conclusive decision on the vital issue of derivation principle and what percentage should be paid mineral producing areas.

After days of fruitless discussion by leaders of geo-political zones at the conference, Justice Kutigi and other principal officers met with selected leaders of delegations, chairmen and deputy chairmen of all the standing committees to decide on the matter.

The first meeting scheduled for Friday, last week, did not hold as most of the selected delegates had already concluded their travel plans in view of the imminent closure of Abuja airport that Friday afternoon for maintenance work on the runway.

As soon as the Conference resumed Monday, Justice Kutigi said: “I’m still of the view that the committee that is handling the matter of coming to a compromise will still do their job. We couldn’t have the meeting on Friday. So, I am proposing that we give them two hours to meet with us.”

He then invited the “50 wise men, committee co-chairmen and deputy chairmen to meet now in our usual place.”

After five hours of closed-door deliberations with the leadership of the conference, southern and northern delegates refused to agree on some of the issues thrown up in the initial meetings of some regional leaders.