The Akwa Ibom State government has explained how it spent the 13 per cent oil derivation refunds it got from the Federal Government as an oil producing state.
Finance Commissioner, Linus Nkan, who addressed a press conference in Uyo, the state capital on Tuesday, said the refunds which were received in tranches since 2021 were subsumed into the state’s annual budgets which have been used for key capital projects as the monthly allocations from the Federation Account have not been enough to fund the numerous projects initiated by the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration.
“In 2021, the sum of N160,000,000,000 was remitted to the state account. In 2022, the projected income from this source was N41,434,000,000, but as at Q3, the sum of N26,000,000,000 has been received,” Nkan said.
“In line with proper financial record keeping and public finance transparency, the refund was reflected in the 2021 budget as “Other Exceptional Income: 13% derivation revenue arrears, which was revised to the tune of N193, 000,000,000; in 2022, the revised provision was N41, 434,000,000; in the 2023 Budget, the estimate for this line item is N100, 000,000,000.
“A simple calculation of these figures will reveal the sustainability disposition that guides the governance of our state.
“The agitation for the refund of the arrears which were deducted from the earnings due to the oil-bearing states, was undertaken by the affected governors, directly and through their officers at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), which agreed with the very detailed submission and calculated the sums accruing to the states.
“However, due to the large amount involved and the inability of the Federal Government to pay all at once, it was agreed that the payments be made in tranches quarterly, over a period of five years.
“The reports on the judicious application of this income and other incomes to the state are captured in the statutory Accountant General’s Audited Report for 2021, and same will be reflected this year.
“There is therefore no reasonable cause for the activation of alarmist tendencies on the state of finances of the state, because the Governor is conscious of the judgement of history and posterity and is doing everything to earn a copious mention on its golden pages.”
The commissioner also cautioned members of the public to be wary of some figures flying around as Akwa Ibom’s share of derivation refunds.
“We therefore urge the entire public to ignore the various figures bandied around on various media platforms, as those are nothing more than fiction.
“With the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting System (IPSAS), it is impossible for any unaccounted expenditure to occur. It is also worthy to point out that the state’s budgets and annual reports must first be reviewed by the World Bank and it is practically impossible that financial infractions can skip their attention,” he stated.
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