Niger Delta region demands control of resource

Apr 29, 2005 02:00 AM

Representatives of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta demanded that they be given control of their region's resources and warned government not to underestimate their determination.
Southern delegates to Nigeria's ongoing National Conference on Political Reform accused some of their colleagues of engaging in the "politics of isolation and injustice".

"Every state of Nigeria shall own and control resources located within its territory," Matthew Mbu, a former foreign minister, said at the conference.
"We recommend that each state government should identify, collect and be directly responsible for all the revenues from its resources ... Each state will retain 60 % of the proceeds of its resources," Mbu said.

They also demanded the appointment of an oil minister from the region, called for oil firms to stop burning off excess gas and to relocate their regional headquarters to the delta by the end of next year.
"We advise all and sundry that it will be a grave miscalculation for anyone or group to underestimate the resolve of the peoples of the Niger Delta to protect that with which they have been endowed by the Almighty," the group said. "Nigeria, do not kill the hen that lays the golden egg," it added.

Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer, exports more than 2.5 mm bpd.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of the country's estimated 130 mm citizens live in abject poverty on less than one dollar per day.

Source: Petroleumworld
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