Oil and gas: Bayelsa State Government calls RMAFC to comply with Supreme Court order

Bayelsa State Government has again called on Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to comply with an order of the Supreme Court over the disputed Soku oil and gas fields, which ownership is in contention between Bayelsa and Rivers State.

Governor Douye Diri made the call during a courtesy call on him by a fact-finding team in Government House, Yenagoa.

Represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor said the apex court had given an order for proper demarcation of the boundary between the two states as step to resolve the impasse.

He lamented that while the National Boundaries Commission was yet to implement the order, RMAFC is paying accruals from the disputed Soku oil wells to Rivers State following a later judgement by a lower court on the same issue.

The Bayelsa helmsman said for the sake of equity and justice, the accruals should be saved in an escrow account pending the final resolution of the matter.

He recalled that the State Government had secured a judgement against the Federal Inland Revenue Service which is yet to be implemented by the Commission and urged RMAFC to apply the right indices for revenue allocation and distribution, in respect of revenue disputes between states in the country.

According to him, the present revenue distribution formula does not meet the development needs of a republic nation like Nigeria with thirty-six federating units, and charged the Commission to display integrity and competence to do the right thing.

Earlier, Leader of RMAFC delegation, Mr. Andrew Agbaga, said the twelve member team was part of the Indices and Distribution Committee of the Commission, currently visiting states in the country.

Mr. Agbaga, who is the Federal Commissioner representing Delta State at the Commission, said their assignment was to verify whether approval and distribution by RMAFC gets to the states and local government areas as well the indices used for revenue disbursement were in conformity with approved principles.