by crossriverwatch admin
There is a ray of hope for Cross River State that it may be compensated for losing 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom State, as the Federal Government may activate Section 5 Sub-section 7 of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act to draw fund for the state.
The idea was muted Wednesday at the meeting on the resolution of the loss of the 76 oil wells by the Cross Rivers State Government presided over by the Vice President Namadi Sambo. Present at the meeting were the Governors of Cross River, Liyel Imoke and Akwa-Ibom State, Godswill Akpabi, the Chairman Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, the Director-General National Boundary Commission, Mohammed Ahmed and other top government officials.
The meeting which was held at he vice president Conference room at the State House, Abuja was at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting which examined the judgement of the Supreme Court on the matter and the matters arising therefrom requested the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission to make presentations as to the way forward.
According to a statement issued at the end of the meeting by the media aide to the vice president, Sani Umar, the Chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Elias Mbam, “stated that the Commission have been meeting to find ways to advise government on the need to provide succour to Cross Rivers State due to the financial discomfort it suffered by the judgement of the Supreme Court.
“The section stipulates that for the purposes of the Act and for avoidance of doubt, where any state of the federation suffers any loss which is outside its control, the Stabilization Funds shall be used to give succor to such a sate.”
Furthermore, the meeting examined the new security challenges posed at the Bakassi Peninsula on the loss of innocent lives through the activities of some foreign bodies and noted that as the Green Tree Agreement is nearing expiration, measures need to be to be taken to address such security challenges. The Vice President directed that a detailed report with relevant evidence be provided to enable government act decisively.
On the issue of Bakassi, Akpabio who spoke to newsmen at the end of the meeting said challenges of insecurity in the region, the idea of humanitarian challenge and the aftermath of the ceding of Bakassi and particularly to find a peaceful way to accommodate all parties so that there will be peace in the region were looked at.
“For me, it was a very good meeting and we discussed also how to ensure that our sister state of Cross River is also happy with the situation. So that the challenges they may be facing may be ameliorated in a way that will show that there is really a sense of belonging to the Nigerian federation. Re-settlement will continue to be a problem. Even some of our people who opted to remain in the peninsular by 2013, when the final withdrawal of who wants to be a citizen and who wants to remain, I think we still have the problem of influx of people into the country. It is proper that we begin to prepare for refugee crises that may still rare its head outside those who are already here now.
“I am sure that more people will still want to leave the peninsular in 2013. It’s something that the government will need to prepare itself so that it would not take them by surprise. Federal government is also looking at the issue of human rights abuses in the peninsular to ensure that our people are not unnecessarily harassed.”
On the issue of Nigeria buying over the peninsular, Akpabio said, “anything that will give us an advantage of an additional territory, I will be glad to support it. It is also an alternative if the price is not too high if we can afford it why not? We can buy back because; Bakassi is too dear to our heart. For instance, in the case of Akwa Ibom, we are still groaning because it is too close to us. It is 40 minutes from one of our LGs. We really like Bakassi to come back to Nigeria.”
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