Friday, February 24, 2012

"Northern States Need More Oil Wealth" - Gov Aliyu.

Prof Pat Utomi responds to Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State's call for changes in the revenue allocation formula and demand for more oil money to states in the Northern part of the country.

"Incidentally, Governor Babangida Aliyu and I served together in Lagos during our NYSC in 1977 and I have pleasant memories of those days.
However, if today Governor Aliyu feels that some states are short changed in the sharing of oil wealth then he should join the movement for the convocation of a National Conference where we can discuss these issues frontally, face to face and resolve them.
I also urge the governor to cast his mind back to the days before the 1966 coup where each zone was in charge its resource and kept 50% to itself and paid 25% to Balewa's Central Government while 25% went to the other regions.
This was what we agreed with the British at independence until it was forcefully changed without the consent of Nigerians by the military and remains that way till this day with perhaps the exception of the 13% derivation.
But we should note however that when in 1963 it was announced that the Eastern region of Nigeria would begin to export oil, the Premier of the North, Ahmadu Bello, reacted to this not by demanding for the revenue from other zones to be given to the North but by investing the North's resources into the development of agriculture and river basins.
In fact, when the news was announced, Sir Ahmadu Bello called a meeting at 1 am to discuss how the Nortern region would develop. I recommend this cause of action to Governor Aliyu and others wanting more revenue.

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