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Rivers got N257.6bn from Federation Account, says Okonjo-Iweala

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IMAGE: Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance »



The Federal Government has once again debunked Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s recent allegation that the management of the country’s resources is shrouded in secrecy.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja explained that contrary to the allegation by the governor, the state actually received the sum of N257.6bn within the first 10 months of this year from the federation account.

This, it added, was the second highest amount received by any state government within the 10 months period.

The statement said, “It is obvious that His Excellency, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State wants to engage in a politicised debate on the management of the economy. We prefer to focus on facts.

“But we thank him most sincerely for at least admitting that he received N56.2bn. We also commend him for accepting that there was no intention by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, not to sign the Water Resources loan from the African Development Bank.

“Please recall that these were the only two issues that he previously raised in his well-publicised comments.

“It is a fact that Rivers State received N56.2bn from the Excess Crude Account which His Excellency identified as the Federation Account.”

The statement argued that the governor could not claim ignorance of the money his state received since monies taken from the ECA were first put into the federation account before being shared.

This, it noted, was the standard practice adding that the total amount states received from the federation account was far in excess of what they got from the ECA.

The statement signed by the Special Adviser to the mimister on communication, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu said, “Of course, the money is taken from the Excess Crude Account and put into the Federation Account before being shared. That is the standard procedure.

“The total amount that the states receive from the Federation Account is far in excess of what they get from the Excess Crude Account.”

To put the issue in perspective, the total amount which Rivers State has received from the Federation Account between January and October 2013 is N257.6bn which is the second highest among the states, of which the N56.2bn from the Excess Crude Account is a part.”

The state government had in statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, on Saaturday  insisted that Amaechi and the other governors had only made one request for the sum of $1bn to be shared from the Excess Crude Account.

The statement explained that there had been no other request from the governors that funds from the Excess Crude Account be shared among the states.

It described as mischief the suggestion that Amaechi refused to acknowledge that Rivers State had received the sum of N56.2bn from the Excess Crude Account between January and September 2013.

The statement had said, Contrary to the coordinating minister’s claim that ‘Mr. Amaechi was closely involved and actively participated in making requests to the Presidency for the account to be shared for the purpose of augmenting the regular allocations from the Federation Account whenever there was a shortfall, Governor Chibuike Amaechi and his colleague governors have only attended one meeting where one request was made for the sharing of $1bn from the ECA

“Beyond that one meeting, there has been no other meeting where it was decided that money from the ECA be shared among the three tiers of government. There is a position of the National Executive Council’s on the matter of the Excess Crude Account.

“This position is that the savings in the ECA belonging to all the states is not to be touched. Indeed, this is in tandem with the position of the honourable minister that the ECA is savings for the rainy day and not to be shared in the manner she now seems to suggest.”

Article Credit: PUNCH Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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