Thursday, April 19, 2018

Controversy Over On-shore/Off-Shore Dichotomy Drags Udom To Presidential Villa

Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom

Abuja – Fears that politicians were weeping up fresh sentiments about the onshore-offshore dichotomy may have compelled Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom to the Presidential Villa, where he met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo behind closed doors on Thursday.

Recall that a report on fiscal federalism and restructuring submitted by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai-led committee to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, on onshore/offshore dichotomy, which made some far-reaching recommendations had not gone down well with some stakeholders from the oil rich region.

Although the Federal Government claimed it had addressed grey areas relating to the sharing of Federation Account Allocation to littoral states as it concerns crude oil revenue.
The Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led committee had recommended in the report presented to the party leadership, that to promote the unity of the country and ensure that states are more financially empowered to deliver services to their residents, as well as ensure no one feels disadvantaged, the committee recommends that the Federal Government should expeditiously review derivation to reflect areas of consensus which are adoption of ‘state control of resources and pay FG,’ upward review of the current formula in favour of states and adoption of similar derivation formula in favour of solid minerals and power generation.”

But Udom in reacting to the development said it was irresponsible for people who had no business with oil generation in the country to make sweeping statements that could jeopardise the polity.

Udom, who at first tried to conceal his intentions for visiting the presidency, gave himself away, when he said he was bothered about inflammatory statements coming from people who little knowledge about oil and the economic implications.

He said, “The Vice President is the Chairman of the National Economic Council so once you see a forward looking governor like us coming to have a discussion with him, you know it has something to do with the economy.

“Whatsover robes off in the state must also play part in the country especially a state that I run as the largest oil producer in this country today even though I mean as you all are aware, I dont even have a dimple to show for it but at least we must do our best to make sure we contribute significantly to economy of this country, and probably also use this opportunity to tell those who do not understand few things not to make certain comments that would not allow this country to run the way it should run.

“I hear people making all kind of comments at times somebody who doesn’t even understand, who has never seen crude oil before will come and tell you about onshore/offshore all those things is dead and has been buried, so let those people not just make inflammatory statements that will cause problems.

“But by and large it has been a good meeting we discuss the entire economy of the nation I am also looking forward to a whole lot of happenings within this period because I can see our economy should move much faster, yesterday the oil price was well over $73 a barrel, this is a good sign of an economy that should get into a boom very soon.”




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