Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George has called on the Federal Government to end ‘structural corruption’ and stop ‘stealing indirectly’ from oil producing states.
Tam-George made this call while speaking to journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. He asked President Muhammadu Buhari to allow oil producing states have full control of their oil resources which would be in line with the spirit of true federalism.
He called for a repeal of the 1969 Petroleum Act, which made the Federal Government owner of crude oil resources. He called it structural corruption which enabled the federal government to “indirectly steal from the Niger Delta”.
“We align with the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war but we are worried that structural corruption, which manifests in the inability of the Niger Delta states to control their oil resources, should be addressed.
“Seventy-four per cent of the national revenue disbursed to states comes from the Niger Delta, 20 per cent comes from the South-West, the remaining eight per cent is contributed by the South-East.
“The 1969 Petroleum Act has to be repealed. The control of oil resources by the Federal Government is a case of the state stealing from itself. This is structural corruption that must be checked. We are advocating that states should control their resources,” the information commissioner said.
He also warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against acts of violence during the rerun elections for legislative seats in Rivers State.
On the same day, the newly deployed Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, said in Port Harcourt, Tuesday that the Independent National Electoral Commission was unbiased during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the commission in Port Harcourt.
He promised a fair and credible poll during the rerun elections holding on March 19. This would be Ikoiwak’s second posting to Rivers State.