Home Finance Rivers/Bayelsa Oil Dispute: RMAFC says allegation is misleading

Rivers/Bayelsa Oil Dispute: RMAFC says allegation is misleading

by Business News Report

The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) said that the allegation that the commission moved five oil communities from Rivers to Bayelsa was misleading. The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Elias Mbam, made this known at a news conference in Abuja. The Presidency had on Tuesday denied a media report alleging President Goodluck Jonathan’s involvement in ceding five Rivers oil producing communities to Bayelsa. A statement issued by Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, denied a media report.
Mbam said: “it is worth mentioning that the commission does not act in isolation without reference to other relevant government agencies at all levels of government.
“Indeed, the commission does not on its own generate data, demarcate boundaries or attribute oil wells to any state. Rather, the commission relies on data or information from relevant government agencies, including the Department of Petroleum Resources, the National Boundary Commission and the office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation.
It is not the responsibility of the commission to adjust boundaries or determine location of oil wells. The allegation against the commission is therefore, baseless, false and misleading.”
On the alleged revenue from Soku community being attributed to Bayelsa, he said the commission relied on the decisions of the Presidential Committee on Verification of Oil Well of 2000 to do its work. Soku is one of the rich oil communities that hosts the Soku oil fields/oil well that produces about 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day in the Niger Delta. The RMAFC boss said that although the Rivers Government had challenged the position, the commission would continue to work in line with the rulings of the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court in its judgment of Tuesday, July 10, 2012, stated that until the National Boundary Commission concludes the delineation of the disputed boundary to finality, it will be futile and premature to determine the boundaries of the two party states in the present circumstance”, he said. Mbam said that the appropriate order to be made in the prevailing circumstance was to strike out the plaintiff suit. He added that media reports from the Kalabari National Forum was baseless and malicious and calculated attempts to misinform the public.
The revenue chief assured that the commission would continue to discharge its duties as an unbiased umpire and would not drag itself into unnecessary politics. He urged all parties to allow peace to reign and allow the National Boundary Commission to complete its assignment on the delineation of boundaries between the two states. On the new Revenue Allocation Formula, he said funding had hindered the process, but said that with inputs in the 2013 budget, the project would soon be completed.
“Any Assignment of this nature, the success and timing is subject to many other variables and these variables include funding and we have been having challenges in funding for this project. But we strongly believe that 2013 budget will make provisions for us to address this challenge,’’ he said.

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