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Diri Ignites Resource Control Debate, Says Bayelsa Won’t Be Held Hostage By Unfair FG’s Revenue Sharing Formula

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Governor Diri





Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has slammed the country’s “lopsided” federalism practice, calling for a review of the revenue derivation formula to reflect fiscal federalism.

He argued that it’s unfair for resource-endowed states like Bayelsa to receive only 13% of their resources while being labeled “insolvent” and dependent on federal allocation.

Diri spoke in Houston, Texas, where Ijaws in the United States of America and Canada conferred on him the “Icon of Unity and Social Justice” award as part of the three-day 2024 convention organized by Ijaw National Congress (INC)-Americas.

He urged Ijaw people to continue their leadership role in the Niger Delta and fight for true federalism, where states control their resources and revenue. .

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Diri said: “The leadership of the Niger Delta has been with the Ijaws over the years. Now it looks like we are getting tired. But we should not. We have to continue with our leadership role while galvanising support from our neighbours and brothers in the region.

“The Niger Delta is an area that should be better than it is if we were allowed to use our resources for our development. Since I arrived this country, what crossed my mind has been how Bayelsa would be if we practised true federalism whereby we get 100 per cent of our revenue from oil and gas and not 13 per cent as it is today. Maybe we would have had one small Houston in Yenagoa.

“You cannot take away the resources in my state and the internally generated revenue that would have accrued to us and expropriate it in the name of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). Every month end, the 36 states in the country gather in Abuja to share resources accruing from my state and they still come back to insult us that our state is insolvent.

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“I have never seen anywhere in the world where the essence of the FAAC is to share revenue only from oil and gas. What about the revenue from other mineral resources like gold? Why are they not also shared? This is the naked truth,” he said.

He urged them not to allow the fire of Ijaw nationalism that has been ignited to extinguish and ensure that the annual event was sustained while promising the support of his administration.

Former Nigerian first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; as well as renowned author and Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, were honoured.

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