Delegates Retain FG Control Over Resources, Say State Can Seek Licence

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By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.

The National Conference Committee on Power Devolution has unanimously agreed to maintain status on resource control saying that sharing resource should be under exclusive legislative list.

However, the Committee added a clause that state government can approach federal government for license to explore and exploit mineral resources in their respective states.

Although the meeting was held behind closed door in order to ensure proper deliberations among the members of the committee, the outcome was made known to newsmen at the session.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting separately, both Senator Ibrahim Mantu and Prof. G. G Darah said that both the North and South in committee unanimously agreed to maintain status quo on resource control in the country.

Mantu said, “All the delegates came into chamber this morning, I want to say the good news is that, we are able to cross the hurdles, which looked impossible to cross, in the last two days, we have now been able to reach a compromise as to where, mineral resources should be, should it be under the Exclusive legislative list or should it be under the Concurrent list.

“We have unanimously adopted that mineral resources, oil and other resources like solid minerals, bitumen and all the rest of them should be under Exclusive legislative list which means that federal government will have exclusive control , management and control of resources.”

“We have now put a proviso in our own recommendation that the states should be involved in the development of these mineral resources, they should be involved in exploitation of these minerals because the state where these minerals come from do not even have anything at all, we now recommend that they should have a say in the exploration activities of mineral resources in their states and at the same time, government should set aside special fund for the development of other resources so that at the end of the day every part of this country will bring something to the table then at that time we shall ourselves as each others keeper and not see other parts of the country as just consumers while others are producers.”

Prof. Darah said,” As somebody who has been involved for almost two decades in the politics of resource control, I must say that I am delighted today that the argument we have advanced and the reasons that we have also put forward and the proposals for resolving the matters.

” Finally, won the acceptance of all delegates in our committee and for information there are 30 members in that committee, there was no dissenting voice, we clap for ourselves even against the rules because there have been a logjam on this matter.”