A Vanguard Report
By Rotimi Ajayi
MONDAY, 18TH JUNE, 2001
ABUJA, FCT—A SENATOR from the South-South zone of the country, D. Fred Brume has cautioned the people of the area against being misled by advocates of resources control.
Senator Brume who represents Delta Central District of Delta State, gave the caution in an interview in Abuja weekend.
According to him, the people in the oil producing areas of the country may not benefit from the campaign of resource control.
He stated that at the moment the 1999 constitution had made adequate provision for the oil producing states to get more money from the federal purse than they are getting without going through the resource control issue.
"I am afraid that I tend to see that the exercise is leading to some detriment on the side of the mineral producing areas getting quickly what they need.
"The advocates of resource control seem to be ignoring the fact that there is already a method laid down in the constitution by which more revenue can be gotten for the mineral producing areas.
He pointed out that it would be almost impossible for the present constitutional provision, which made the mining of natural resources an exclusive federal responsibility, to be amended to give such powers to either states or local governments.
He noted that the constitutional provision of derivation formula would make more money available to the states for development easier than the issue of resource control.
"The issue of getting more money to the oil or mineral producing areas is something that has been extensively debated in this country.
"In 1994-95 draft constitutional review committee, it was so tense a subject matter that it almost brought the whole effort to a standstill.
"It was from there that the principle of derivation became explicitly enshrined in the constitution and is phrased cleverly that not-less-than 13 per cent of any federal revenue from exploitation of the mineral should be returned for the development of the areas.
"So instead of focusing on how we will get this provision
implemented by all parties involved it has become a bit of diversion pursuing