Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has stated that oil producing states should be paid their 13 per cent derivation of the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the federal government to fight insurgency.
Speaking Sunday at the Government House, Port Harcourt during the presentation of the Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year Award 2017 to him by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, who represented him at the event, Wike noted that it is mandatory for the constitutional procedure to be followed.
The governor said he has been officially approached to lobby the Rivers State House of Assembly to approve the resolution mandating the withdrawal of the said funds.
He said while the state government is not against the fight against insurgency, all required constitutional procedures must be respected.
The governor said: “They have approached us to lobby for the passage of a resolution by the state House of Assembly approving the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to fight insurgency.
“The law is clear. Every proceed from oil, you must remove 13 per cent derivation for oil producing states. We cannot be stampeded into doing the wrong thing. So, where is the 13 per cent derivation for oil producing states. In fighting insurgency, you must respect the law.”
He said all the negative actions against the Rivers State government were targeted at denying the state the balance of the Paris Club refund.
Wike also informed the Rivers State House of Assembly members of the refusal of the federal government to release budget support fund to the state government, when all other states have received the fund.
“If you criticise the government, they deny the state funds due to it. This is a government that claims that it is fighting corruption,” he mocked the federal government.
He commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for their support, urging them to stand firm as the state approaches the political era.
The governor said the numerous successes recorded by the state were due to the sacrifices of the people in the face of dwindling resources.
Earlier, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Ibani, described the governor as a leader with outstanding developmental qualities.
He said the imprints of the governor are found in all the local government areas of the state. He noted that the Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year Award 2017 is a crown of all previous awards that the governor had received.