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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 18:14 UK

Nigeria 'to give 10% of oil cash'

Residents of Okrika in Niger Delta, file image
The government says it wants to benefit the people of the delta

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.

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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.



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