The state government disclosed that it smells rat and expressed dissatisfaction that the state has not gotten a fair share in the process of releasing the money to the state.
Giving details Wednesday of the State Executive Council meeting, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, said: “We have also approved the services of consultants to help us take a second look on what we are getting on account of the 13% derivation for the purpose of reconsolidation because we do believe that we are not getting a fair share of what we deserve as a state due to the 13%”.
He said the consultants would assist the state government to help look at the books both at the Central Bank of Nigera (CBN) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to ascertain whether or not the federal government has been very faithful at the 13% derivation.
He explained that the purpose for the two consultants was due to the Covid-19 era, where meetings are done base on virtuals and in the capital city of the country aimed at reaching out to the agencies responsible.
According to him, “the good thing is that, if they are not able to discover anything that we are not been owe, we are not going to lose anything but if they are able to do that reconciliation, enable the state to gain some amount of money with respect to what happened to the Paris Club refund, then we will be able to pay as much as 11.5% to the consultants while the remaining money will come to us as a state”, the government said.
Aniagwu, who noted that it would take a lot of work, expressed optimism that the consultants would assist the state to find out what may not have come to the state.
“So that as a state we will be able to get our due revenue from the 13% derivation”, Aniagwu, hinted.
Explaining further, the Information Commissioner emphatically said: “the consultants are the ones that will carry out the reconciliation, we have seen that there are instances where the federal government decides to pay for certain things.
“For instance, at a time, they said they were paying for subsidy before the money is shared at the Federal Allocation Committee and the Constitution did not say you must take away any money before you share.
“13% derivation, means that if you realize any money from the soil of a particular state, you must give me my N13.00. You don’t go and do your spending and then reduce it to N60.00 and then you come and give me 13 percent of N60.00”, stressing that the government suspected that the state could have been shortchanged.
While noting that if the consultants could not find out anything, the state would not go to war with the federal government, he stated: “but if we are able to find out that we have been shortchanged just as what happened with the Paris Club refund, we will ask the federal government to give us what is rightfully ours. It is something that is genuine and supported by law”, Aniagwu said.