Delta state Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and his Akwa Ibom State
counterpart, Godswill Akpabio yesterday said that the issue of
onshore/offshore dichotomy has been settled long ago by the National
Assembly and the Judiciary.
The Governors, who made the call during the Zonal Advocacy Workshop on
Economic Diversification and Enhanced Revenue Generation (South-South Zone)
in Asaba, said it was unfortunate that the issue of on-shore and off-shore
was still on national discourse and enjoined Nigerians to lay it to rest.
‘’I appeal to Nigerians to leave the issue of on-shore and off-shore alone.
This matter has long ago been settled and it should now be a no go area.
Indeed I beg Nigerians to leave this matter for now’’, Uduaghan stated.
On his part, Akpabio said 20 states of the federation took the matter to
the Supreme Court after the national assembly had addressed the matter and
that at the Supreme Court it was settled and laid to rest wondering why it
was an issue now.
Dr Uduaghan called on the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal
Commission to design ways of addressing the problems of oil producing
states stating that the impact of oil exploration was heavy on states in
the South-South zone and as a result deserves better treatment.
He specifically demanded for 50% oil derivation revenue which he explained
will be used to heal the wounds inflicted on the environment of the Niger
Explaining further he said ‘’Exploration of oil has dealt a fatal blow on
the environment of the South-South region. It has caused environmental
degradation, pollution of soil and river to the extent that fishing and
farming are no longer viable occupations in the region.’’
The governor harped on the dwindling revenue allocation and said the time
was now ripe for the diversification of the economy so that in the future,
states could survive beyond oil.
Describing the workshop as timely Dr Uduaghan said his administration has
mapped out strategies to build a state beyond oil explaining that he was
already using oil revenue to develop other sectors of the economy.
Emphasizing further he said ‘’we are laying the framework to develop more
industries and increase the scope of our micro-credit scheme. Besides, we
are increasing our investments in agriculture so that we can use it to
create more employment opportunities’’.
The governor who explained that unemployment was mounting pressure on the
economy of every states in the nation, said his administration was creating
avenues through which youths will be removed from the streets and given
The governor of Akwa-Ibom state Chief Goodswill Akpabio in his remarks
called on the commission to look critically on oil exploration and
compensate the Niger Delta region.
Chief Akpabio said Nigerians should not only share from the revenue coming
out of the region but should also share in the problems of the region.
He said the production of oil in the Niger Delta states has now become a
curse instead of a blessing especially as the environment of the region has
The governor said the future of the environment of the Niger Delta states
was now becoming bleak and anything can happen such as earthquakes and
tsunamis because of the depth of oil exploration.
The governor of Edo state Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who also spoke during
the occasion advocated for the development of the agricultural sector as an
alternative source of revenue in the Niger Delta zones.
The governor who was represented by his deputy Chief Pius Odubu stated that
the regions should also pay attention to the solid mineral deposits for
nature has already bestowed them on the regions.
The chairman of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission
Engineer Elias Mbam said the aim of the workshop was to map out strategies
on how to diversify the nation’s economy so that the actualization of the
vision 20.2020 will be guaranteed.
Engineer Mbam promised that the commission was committed in the campaign
and expressed the hope that in the long run, the revenue profile of the
nation will increase.