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'Whole country should benefit from oil'

12 July 2013, 14:10Emeka Adebanji

Abuja - Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, rejected calls by the Niger and Delta States for companies operating in the regions to remit half of their revenue from oil to local government.

He said instead, the whole country, and not selected regions, should benefit from the gains made from oil.

He said it was only by "divine providence" that oil was available in the Niger/Delta, warning that the people of the area should not use such privileges to undermine efforts to develop the entire nation.

Shettima argued it was counterproductive to allow states with natural endowment to get large resources from the federal purse while others were left with meagre resources.

This, he argued, would widen the poverty gap.

“The whole states in the northeast receive less than Bayelsa State but the people from the oil producing areas are busy calling for 50 percent derivation," said Shettima.

He urged the country to follow the example of Germany where less-endowed states benefited from resources extracted from privileged regions.

"Resources of Western Germany is being used in developing the Eastern Germany just to make sure that the area is at par with other parts of the country," Shettima said.

The Niger/Delta States have the continent's largest crude oil reserves. These are however a source of conflict between the locals and international companies locals accuse of exploitation.

- CAJ News



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