A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has asked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to stop allocating oil blocks and marginal fields to a few individuals as well as local and foreign corporate bodies.
He said such allocations are illegal, unconstitutional and violate Section 16(2)(c) of the constitution, which provides that “the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or a group.
He also said the oil fields should be allocated to the federal government and 36 states government, as most of the individuals lack the funds and technical expertise to develop them.
Falana said: “Majority of the owners of the oil blocks belonging to the Nigerian people usually sub-lease them to offshore companies, as they lack the fund and the technical expertise to develop the oil and gas industry.
“By merely collecting huge rents, the oil block owners become stupendously rich, while the federal, state and local governments depend on loans and bailout to pay salaries and carry out basic infrastructure development of the country.
“This request is in line with Section 16 (1) (b) of the constitution, which has mandated the Nigerian State to “control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen, on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.”
“Take notice that if the federal government refuses to accede to our request, we shall be compelled to challenge the constitutional validity of allocating the oil blocks and other natural resources collectively owned by the Nigerian people but vested in the federal government to a few private individuals and corporate bodies.
“By allocating oil blocks to a few individuals and corporate bodies the federal government has violated Section 16(2)(c) of the constitution which provides that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group,” Falana said.