22 July 2020 by Aisha Adesanya
The House of Representatives has stepped down a bill seeking to alter the constitution to make provision for a fifty percent derivation from natural resources.
The bill titled ‘a bill for an act to alter section 162 of the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria and for related matters’ is sponsored by member representing Andoni Opobo Nkoro Federal constituency of Rivers state, Awaji-Inombek Abiante.
Leading the debate on the principles of the bill the lawmaker explained that the bill when passed into law seeks to increase the percentage of derivation fund of the revenue accruing to the federation account directly from any natural resources to not less than fifty percent.
He further explained that the bill is aimed at getting more revenue for the nation as well as ensuring local participation in the mining of natural resources by duly licensing and registering miners.
Abiante added that the provision of the constitution before military intervention had stated that fifty percent of proceeds of royalty be received by the federation in respect of any mineral extracted in any region.
The lawmaker pointed out that it was the military decree No 13 of 1970 that marked the journey towards fiscal centralization of the country which brought about the 13 percent derivation which is grossly inadequate.
The house however became divided when some lawmakers moved that the bill be discarded without going through the normal procedure for bill passage.
Ruling the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila urged Abiante to step down the bill to give room for more consultations before the bill is represented for second reading…..