The Committee on Devolution of Power at the ongoing national confab on Tuesday again failed to reach a decision on Item 39 on the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution.
Tuesday’s three-hour closed-door session was the third time in less than a week that no decision would be reached on the item, which deals with the exclusive rights of the Federal Government to legislate on issues regarding mines and minerals, oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas.
Tuesday’s deliberations ended in stalemate, delegates from the north favouring the status quo, and those from the south pushing for some modifications.
The southern delegates argued for state governments to have some level of involvement in the drafting of legislations concerning mining of mineral resources deposited in their areas.
But this position was opposed by delegates from the north, who expressed belief that it would give an unequal advantage to the south, since there are states in the north lacking in natural minerals.
Addressing the media after the session, Obong Victor Attah, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and co-chairman of the committee, gave assurances that a final decision would be reached on Wednesday, saying that despite the dissenting opinions, substantial progress had been made.