Bayelsa govt accuses FG of illegal deductions from state allocations

The Bayelsa State Government has accused the Federal Government of illegally deducting N450bn from its monthly allocations over the last 13 years.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Maxwell Ebibai, claimed that the deductions were under the guise of monthly four per cent for fuel subsidy.

Ebibai added that such deductions were without the approval of the Council of States.

He also criticised the Federal Government’s spending of funds in the Excess Crude Account meant for a “rainy day.”

According to a statement on Tuesday, the commissioner made the claim in Yenagoa during the monthly transparency briefing for the month of August 2019.

He said, “It is important that we highlight that, for a long time, under the pretext that we are saving for a rainy day, the Federal Government used money in the Excess Crude Account for activities such as petroleum subsidy, arms purchase and others.

“By recent calculations, from the 13 per cent derivation money that has passed through the Excess Crude Account, the people of Bayelsa have not enjoyed the benefits amounting to about N450bn. That is what, in the name of one nation, we are subsiding.

“This does not affect Bayelsa alone, but almost all the oil-producing states. We have been on this engagement and have some positive results in August. The issue of backlogs is going to be handled as a nation because the money taken from the account is humongous.”

He added that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Council of States would look at the total liability of what had been taken from the Excess Crude Account, the beneficiaries, what they were entitled to and what the Federal Government would do about it.

 

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