Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State has rejected the allocation of the sum of N1.92 billion out of the N497.76 billion distributed across states in the six geo-political zones in the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The state equally demanded the refund of over N142 billion expended in respect of the construction of federal roads by the state government; as allegedly agreed by the Federal Ministry of Works before the resources were committed.
Elders in the state under the aegis of the Akwa Ibom Vanguard, at a press briefing in Uyo, the State capital called for explanation in the lopsided allocation to the state which is the highest in the production of oil and gas revenue to coffer of the nation.
The leader of the group, Senator Anietie Okon argued that “the allocation of a paltry N1.92 billion for capital projects in Akwa Ibom Sate is indisputably a confirmation of an orchestrated policy of Federal Government to stunt, and scuttle the growth of the state”.
Okon said it was unbelievable that a state that is the highest producer of oil and gas, and the highest source of revenue to the country and contributor to its budget of over N6 trillion could be so humiliated in the allocation. The group expressed worry that out of N6.06 trillion appropriated for the 2016 budget, only a meagre sum of N1.92 billion has been allocated for capital projects to a state projected to be the highest contributor to the realisation of the funding of the 2016 budget of the Federal Government.
After analysing allocations of capital projects to states across the zones in the country, Senator Okon alleged that the case of N1.92 billion to Akwa Ibom State was a political vendetta.
“We demand the criteria for this skewed, hopless and insensitive appropriation and allocation of capital projects by President Buhari’s administration. It is difficult to understand why states with no contribution to the federation account would be allocated greater sums of money for capital projects than Akwa Ibom State and other oil producing states.
“We state unequivocally that President Buhari has not done justice by any measure of consideration to the people of Akwa Ibom State….the capital projects speaks volumes of injustice, marginalisation and prejudice.
“We recall that soon after his inauguration, the President had infamously stated that there will be a dichotomy between the states that supported him and those that did not at the ratio of between 90 per cent and 5 per cent. There is no better portrayal of such sickening manifestation than this outrage.
“As far as we are concerned, there is an unstated determination to undermine, persecute and subjugate us as a people. We remain resolute and we shall overcome”, Okon stressed.
Reacting to questions, he wondered what the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma is still doing in the federal cabinet when his state is being rubbished with such allocation.
Senator Okon further accused the President Buhari of underpayment of the 13 per cent derivation, due to the states in the Niger Delta region.
“It is difficult to understand why states with no contribution to the Federation Account would be allocated greater sums of money for capital projects than Akwa Ibom State and other oil producing states that contribute heavy revenue to the Federal Account.
“We state unequivocally that President Buhari has not done justice by any measure of consideration to the people of Akwa Ibom State. The stark reality presented above speaks volumes of injustice, marginalisation and prejudice”, he maintained.