The government of Bayelsa State has accused the Nigerian Government of making illegal deduction of N450 billion from its monthly allocations over the last 13 years.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Maxwell Ebibai made the claim in a statement on Tuesday in Yenagoa during the monthly transparency briefing for the month of August 2019.
He explained that the alleged illegal deductions were under the pretence of monthly four per cent for fuel subsidy, adding that the deductions were not approved by the Council of States.
He also criticized the act of pending Excess Crude Account (ECA) funds, money meant for a “rainy day”, by the federal government.
“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 said.
Ebibai said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Council of States would have to look at the total liability of what had been taken from the ECA, the beneficiaries, what they were entitled to and what the federal government would do about it.
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