Governors of the South-South geo-political zone, Thursday agreed to set up a regional security outfit to assist federal forces in policing the region. The move is similar to the model adopted by governors of the South Western states.
The governors met in Asaba, the Delta State capital under the BRACED Commission, which is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states.
All the governors were in attendance except the governor of Cross River state, Ben Ayade, who was held up in Abuja.
Briefing newsmen after the closed-door meeting which lasted for about two hours, Chairman of the South South Governors’ Forum, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said they have also resolved to tackle the presidency on the need to remove 13 percent oil derivation for the oil producing states as enshrined in the constitution before allocations to all the states by the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.
The governors according to Okowa also want President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute the governing board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
“We have agreed to restart the BRACED Commission and ensure we provide the necessary logistics for it to function properly. The commission as established was to help us look into the issues of regional economy and the need for us to develop our region collectively, instead of working as individual states.
“A lot has been done in terms of documentation in the past. And in the last five years, the commission has almost gone to sleep. But we have agreed we have to restart it with headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with our next meeting coming up in May, in Port Harcourt.
“With the briefing by the DG of the BRACED commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, who is with us, there are lots of documentations that have taken place in the last few years, which we will look into. We also took on the issues of security, which I am sure a lot of you are waiting on that, we have agreed as a region there is a need to have a regional security outfit. We have mandated the BRACED Commission to work out details, which they wil brief us at our next meeting in Port Harcourt,” Okowa said.
“We also took other decisions concerning the issue of FAAC allocations and the need to be able to stress very importantly that in every allocation that is being done, thirteen percent derivation must first be taken out from the funds that comes from oil economy before the rest of the money is shared at FAAC. The 13 percent is meant for oil producing states. That has not been the situation for a very long time. We have agreed as governors to take up the matter at the appropriate levels.”
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