Confab ends plenary, fails to agree on national issues

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The National Conference on Monday ended plenary,
leaving unresolved key national issues, including the
disagreements over derivation, the national
intervention fund and the formula to be adopted by
the three tiers of government for sharing funds from
the Federation Account.

The conference will however reconvene on August 4
to adopt the report of the conference before it is
submitted to the Federal Government.

Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, said
the 50 “wise men” and the chairmen and deputy
chairmen of the 20 committees established by the
delegates, had agreed that the Federal Government
should set up a technical committee to address the
contentious issues.

Kutigi had earlier in the morning announced to
delegates that the selected members scheduled to
meet with him last Friday would still meet with a view
to resolving the knotty issues.

The meeting could not hold because over 60 delegates
boycotted it.

He said, “I’m still of the view that the committee that is
handling the matter of coming to a compromise will
still do their job.

“We couldn’t have the meeting on Friday. So, I am
proposing that we give them two hours to meet with
us.”

He then invited the “50 Wise Men, committees co-
chairmen, chairmen and Deputy Chairmen to meet
now in our usual place.”

At the end of the meeting, which lasted for over four
hours, it was apparent that the group of delegates
were unable to agree on the issues that necessitated
the call for the meeting.

But the ‘‘wise men’’ and the leadership of the 20
committees had last week claimed that they had
agreed that “the principle of derivation shall be
constantly reflected in any approved formula as being
not less than 18 per cent of the revenue accruing to
the Federation Account directly from any natural
resources.

“That not less than 50 per cent of the total derivation
funds accruable to a mineral bearing state shall be
due and lay able to the host communities within the
state where the resources are derived in accordance
with the production quota contributed by such
communities.

“There shall be established a Solid Mineral
Development Fund, which is currently three per cent
of Federal Government Account referred to by the
committee on page 40 of its report, it shall be
increased to five per cent and will be applied to solid
minerals development in the states.”

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