Again, Buhari turns heat on Governors, clarifies derivation fund controversy
Reveals Nine Oil-producing States Received N625.43b For 13% Derivation, Subsidy, SURE-P Refunds
•Re-assures Refunds To Oil Producing States Will Continue
A day after President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the stunted development being experienced at the local council level was caused by state governors and council officials who “pocket” public funds, the Presidency has again turned the heat on state governors, this time providing details on fund releases to oil-producing states in the last two years.
The move was an apparent reaction to the controversy trailing the remittance and deployment of the 13 per cent Derivation Fund and other funds by the Federal Government.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had during the inauguration of the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt, penultimate weekend, revealed that one of the reasons his administration has been able to embark on several projects was because the Buhari administration had graciously approved the payment and release of unpaid 13 percent derivation deductions since 1999 to all states in the Niger Delta.
Wike had also followed up his claim by throwing a challenge at his colleagues in the oil-producing region, asking them to show Nigerians what they have done with their own funds.
Thus, governors of the nine oil-producing states have been engaged in efforts to defray reactions trailing revelation.
However, in a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday, the Presidency revealed that nine oil-producing states received a total of N625.43 billion 13 per cent oil derivation, subsidy and SURE-P refunds from the Federation Account in the last two years (2021-2022).
According to the statement, the states that received the refunds dating from 1999 to 2021 are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.
“Data obtained from the Federation Account Department, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, show that a total of N477.2 billion was released to the nine states as refund of the 13 per cent derivation fund on withdrawal from Excess Crude Account (ECA) without deducting derivation from 2004 to 2019, leaving an outstanding balance of N287.04 billion.
“The states also got N64.8 billion as refund of the 13 per cent derivation fund on deductions made by NNPC without payment of derivation to Oil Producing States from 1999 to December,” he said.
The statement explained further that the benefitting states still had an outstanding balance of N860.59 billion windfall from the refunds, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“According to the figures, under the 13 per cent derivation fund on withdrawal from ECA without deducting derivation from 2004 to 2019, Abia State received N4.8 billion with outstanding sum of N2.8 billion; Akwa-Ibom received N128 billion with outstanding sum of N77 billion; Bayelsa N92.2 billion, leaving an outstanding of N55 billion.
“Cross River got a refund N1.3 billion with a balance N792 million; Delta State received N110 billion, leaving a balance of N66.2 billion; Edo State received N11.3 billion, with a balance of N6.8 billion; Imo State, N5.5 billion, with an outstanding sum of N3.3 billion; Ondo State, N19.4 billion with an outstanding sum of N11.7 billion while Rivers State was paid 103.6 billion, with an outstanding balance of N62.3 billion,” the statement added.
Shehu further disclosed that, “the states were paid in eight instalments between October 2, 2021 and January 11, 2022, while the ninth to 12th instalments were still outstanding.
He added: “On the 13 per cent derivation fund on deductions made by NNPC without payment of derivation, the nine oil producing states were paid in three instalments this year, with the remaining 17 instalments outstanding.
“Under this category, Abia State received N1.1 billion; Akwa-Ibom, N15 billion; Bayelsa, N11.6 billion; Cross River, N432 million; Delta State, N14.8 billion; Edo State, N2.2 billion; Imo State, N2.9 billion; Ondo State, N3.7 billion and Rivers State, N12.8 billion.
“Meanwhile, the benefitting states shared N9.2 billion in three instalments in April, August and November 2022 as refunds on the 13 per cent derivation exchange rate differential on withdrawal from the ECA.
“The three largest benefitting states were Akwa Ibom (N1.6 billion), Delta State (N1.4 billion) and Rivers State (N1.32 billion).
“Similarly, all the nine states received N4.7 billion each, totalling N42.34 billion as refunds on withdrawals for subsidy and SURE-P from 2009 to 2015. The refund, which is for all the states and local government councils, was paid on November 10, 2022.
“The Federation Account also paid N3.52 billion each as refund to local government councils on withdrawals for subsidy and SURE-P from 2009 to 2015 on the same date in November.”
The statement noted that President Buhari considers it a matter of honour and decency that debts owed to states or anyone for that matter be repaid, and in time, without regard to their partisan political affiliations.
“The President will continue to render equal service to all the states of the federation and an acknowledgement of this by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the others is not out of place. The refunds to the oil-producing states will continue,” the statement assured.