KOGI State Governor Yahaya Bello is demanding an upward review of the revenue given to states that produce solid minerals.
He wants the allocation to be reviewed from the statutory 13 per cent to 20 per cent.
Bello stated this at the North-Central zonal public hearing on the ongoing constitutional amendments in Lokoja on Tuesday.
He argued that the current 13 per cent did not measure up to the attended negative consequences of mining activities.
“Thirteen per cent derivation is not commensurate to degradation and other effects of mining in host communities. I recommend 20 per cent equity share for states on solid mineral mining,” he said.
He expressed his support for the constitutional review exercise, stressing that review was “one of the tools to address issues in the national polity.”
The hearings, which are organised by the Senate across all geo-political zones of the country, are aimed at getting suggestions from the public on what they want to see in the imminent 1999 Constitution.
There have been a lot of agitations and concerns by various state governments and socio-political associations since the hearing began last week.
Although the proposed amendment hopes to proffer solutions to the many crises the 1999 Constitution has created, senior legal experts are of the opinion that the exercise will end in futility and deadlock.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria Afe Babalola, who described the current constitution as a fraud, said that the nation should call for a national constitutional conference to fashion out a new ‘true federal constitution and come up with a parliamentary system of government like’ the 1963 Constitution, which recognised regions and not states, with a central government headed by a prime minister or head of state.
He said that the 1999 Constitution was an impediment to the nation’s progress and had brought Nigeria to the brinks of extinction.
Similarly, Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Itse Sagay had also called for the adoption of the 1963 constitution.
Sagay said the 1963 Constitution would address the various agitations by Nigerians concerning true federalism.
“If we had that, with amendments here and there to make it accommodate states rather than regions, which we used to have, I think all these agitations will die down and everybody will be happy, ” he had said.