Residents to get what insiders got?
|October 22, 2009||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Residents to get what insiders got?
Nigeria plans ‘to give 10% of oil cash’
Any time our species makes a major move forward to greater economic justice, celebrate! This 2009 article is from the BBC, October 19.
by the BBC
Nigerian officials are reportedly planning to give 10% of the country’s oil revenues to people in the Niger Delta, an area plagued by insurgencies.
Presidential adviser Emmanuel Egbogah told the UK’s Financial Times that the money would go directly to communities, bypassing powerful state governors.
Analysts say the government fears local officials would embezzle the money.
The plan is part of the government’s effort to stop militants from attacking oil installations in the delta.
Such attacks have been going on for years, but the government recently held an amnesty and claims to have persuaded a number of leading militants to hand in their arms.
The rebels say they are fighting for a fairer share of oil wealth for delta residents, but frequently resort to killing and kidnapping, and fund their activities by stealing oil.
Mr Egbogah told the FT the idea was for the benefits to “flow directly” to the delta people.
“Every community, whether blind or deaf or dumb, every citizen will say: ‘I own a part of this business.’”
The FT reports that the plans could see more than 50bn naira ($338m; £207m) diverted to the communities in its first year.
But the BBC’s Ahmed Idris in Abuja says the government’s proposals have a long way to go before they see the light of day.
He says it is likely to face stiff opposition from the regions outside the delta, because it would mean less revenue for them.
The allocation of Nigeria’s oil money is strictly governed by the constitution.
JJS: The Nigerian presidents proposal is a step toward realizing the ideal of everyone getting a share of the worth of Mother Earth. If individual residents or local communities were to actually receive a share of oil revenue, then thered be less to fight over and less money for graft and corruption and for politicians to misspend. Other nations and regions already share some oil revenue, including Norway, Alberta, and Alaska which actually cuts a check for its residents.
Besides sharing the rent for oil, governments could recover and share the rent for all natural resources, including surface land. Aspen Colorado does a little of that. That locality taxes land a little bit when it gets sold and uses the revenue to help local residents afford housing. In that Rocky Mountain high ski resort, locations are so pricey that even doctors making over $100,000 a year qualify for public housing assistance!
As more people come to understand that natural values are here for all of us, our species takes a huge step forward. Theres another step in tandem with that, which is to realize that our individually-generated values belong to individuals individually. That means, quit taxing earnings, enterprise, and buildings. These two revenue shifts — shifting taxes off effort while recovering site rents and shifting away from subsidies to a Citizens Dividend — together constitute geonomics. Any time any part of the reform has been tried, it has worked.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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The worth of Earth is not for some but for all
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