Buhari meets S’South govs in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with governors from the South-South geopolitical zones at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

  The meeting which lasted for about an hour had four governors in attendance. The governors, who attended the meeting, included Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Siriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. All the governors are members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Governor of Bayelsa State, Siriake Dickson who spoke to State House Correspondents on behalf of others simply said, they were at the villa to discuss issues bothering on the development of the region. He, however, declined to give details of the agenda.

 Dickson said “my colleagues and I came to have audience with the President to discuss issues pertinent to our country and also pertinent to our respective states.

“We had a robust and fruitful discussion with the president and he promised to look into it in any way possible.” When asked on the area of discussion, Dickson who was accompanied by his other colleagues said “we don’t want to go into those details.”

  He further said that their meeting had nothing to do with either PDP or the All Progressives Congress (APC). Although no official reason was given by the presidency for the meeting, our correspondent gathered that the meeting may not be unconnected with the recent Supreme   Court judgement that ordered the federal government to adjust its share of proceeds from the sale of crude oil whenever the price exceeds $20 per barrel.

  The Supreme Court judgement, according to industry expert, means more money for the federation in its production sharing contract with its joint venture contract multinational oil companies partners, a development they would also translate to extra funds for states, particularly the littoral states. The order, which was made in a ruling in a suit filed by the Attorneys- General of Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States, was a fallout of the terms of settlement between the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) and the plaintiffs.

  The seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, which included the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen in a unanimous ruling, ordered that 13 per cent derivation that was due to the oil producing states be paid upon recovery, in accordance with Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Plaintiffs in the suit, the Attorneys-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko; Bayelsa State, Mr. Wodu Kemasukde; and the Rivers State, Emmanuel Aguma (SAN), now deceased, had in November 2017 approached the court for interpretation of Section 16(1) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act in suit number SC964/2016 filed on their behalf by Mr. Lucius Nwosu (SAN). The section requires the federal government to adjust the shares of the revenue accruable to the federation whenever the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel

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