Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has described the act of receiving monthly allocation from the Federal Government by state governments – especially minerals-producing states – as akin to begging for what belongs to them (states).
Governor Uduaghan made these remarks at the opening of the state’s Ministry of Oil and Gas Industry’s two-day stakeholders’ conference, tagged: “First Delta State Oil and Gas Industry Stakeholders Conference,” with the theme, “Synergy: Sustainable Partnership for Development in the Oil and Gas Producing Communities in Delta State,” at Wellington Hotel, Effurun, Warri.
The governor also lamented that the introduction of Pertroleum Decree in 1969 into the exclusive list of the Federal Government by the General Yakubu Gowon-led regime took away the rights of minerals-producing states from what was being produced in their territories. He said it was particularly annoying that the Federal Government removed the rights and benefits accruing from oil and gas exploration and production, noting that the decree had perpetuated great environmental disasters to oil producing communities, leaving the state governments to shoulder the burden of oil exploitation.
Represented by his deputy, Professor Amos Utuama, (SAN), Governor Uduaghan said: “We must all recall that in 1969 the course of Nigerian history was changed and the nature of economic relationship between states and the Federal Government was altered by the promulgation of the Petroleum Decree by the Military Government, which took away the rights of the states to minerals produced in their territories and placed it squarely under the exclusive control of the Federal Military Government.