Edo Refutes Wike’s Claim on 13% Derivation Payment by FG to Oil Producing States

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

Contrary to the disclosure of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that the federal government has paid all outstanding 13 percent derivation funds due to the oil-producing states of the Niger Delta, the Edo State Government yesterday stated that it has received only N2.1 billion in three tranches of N700 million out of N28 billion due the state.

The state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, who announced this at a press conference in Benin-city, explained that: “In respect to the 13 percent derivation refund currently making the waves, it was the states Commissioners of Finance in Nigeria under the aegis of FAAC, especially those from the oil-producing states that spotted the fact that there was an anomaly in respect of the federal government spending money from crude oil and gas sales and not taking out derivation, so the work was done and a total of about N1 trillion was established as due to the oil producing states.”

According to Eboigbe, “It went through the whole process and the FEC approved it and a methodology for repayment as approved by RMFAC which they now agreed on what will be due to each state. Edo State share of that figure was N28billion; it is a small figure out of the N1 trillion, but that’s what got to us. What was also approved was the way and manner this money will get to the states.

“The net amount will come to each state over five years; each year, you will have quarterly remittance which means four releases each year over five years. This disbursement was to start this year but some states went to court to restrain the government so the releases now started in October which is just last month. By the time they started the releases, Edo State got N700 million  per quarter, and this is verifiable in our bank account.

“What we have got is three quarterly releases so far, and that is what has come into the state coffers and it is verifiable, it is in the bank, and office of the accountant-general has the records. So our share was N28 billion net, it is to be distributed in five years and that will be 20 quarterly distributions which three has come so far.”

Corroborating the disclosure by the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, his counterpart in the Ministry of Communication and Orientation, Mr. Chris Nekhihare, said: “You will agree with me that we have people who have religiously used these resources; we are not a rich state but this government has judiciously used its resources. However, we are rich inhuman capital development, we are rich in people who are able to manage our resources in such a way that we are able to get the major benefits.”

He alleged that former state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, received N1 trillion in his eight years as governor and left a debt of N160 billion for the state.

In his comment, Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, said: “We have audited statement that is released every year after all expenditure is complete, so we don’t have to be announcing it.

“The reason he (Wike) said it was because elections are coming in February, otherwise it is in public knowledge, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is there, the Ministry of Finance is there, and journalists have the statistics, and it is not a new information, so the man just said it to cause tension.”

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