Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri has called on the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Federal Inland Revenue Service to review the formula for sharing revenue in respect of oil and gas production in the country.
Mr Diri made the call while declaring open a two-day stakeholders’ sensitisation forum on the use of natural gas as alternative energy in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the revenue sharing formula grossly lacked equity and justice for a gas-producing state like Bayelsa.
“It is absurd that while gas is being flared here in Bayelsa, it is another state and the federal government that are benefitting greatly from the menace.
“Clearly, there is no equity in the present revenue sharing in terms of oil and gas production in Nigeria,” he said.
He said although Bayelsa ranks as the highest gas-producing state in the country, it has yet to enjoy the full benefits of its huge natural gas endowment.
Mr Diri said that gas flaring had constituted a serious threat to the people and their right to life, especially in the Niger Delta zone.
He pointed out that Bayelsa had continued to make heavy sacrifices to keep the nation’s economy afloat, adding that in many of its communities, the difference between night and day had been obliterated.
While expressing concern over the severe health losses that gas flaring has caused the people, the governor maintained that the region had lost over $11 billion to the menace.
“It has led to several economic and health losses by our people, and the Federal Government continues to lose potential revenue from gas flaring.
“The environmental and socio-economic impacts of gas flaring have resulted in an estimated loss of over $11 billion in Nigeria.”
Mr Diri further thanked the gas monitoring committee of RMAFC for choosing Bayelsa for the forum and called on all stakeholders to seize the opportunity to make valuable inputs to better the lots of the state.