Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that oil producing states should be paid their 13 percent derivation of the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government to fight insurgency.
Speaking, on Sunday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during the presentation of the Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year Award 2017, to him by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Owaji-Ibani who represented him at the event, Governor Wike noted that it was mandatory for the constitutional procedure to be folloWed.
The governor said that he had been officially approached to lobby the State House of Assembly to approve the resolution mandating the withdrawal of the said funds.
He said while the State Government is not against the fight against insurgency, required constitutional procedures must be respected.
The governor said, “They have approached us to lobby for the passage of a resolution by the State House of Assembly approving the $1billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to fight insurgency.
“The law is clear. Every proceed from oil, you must remove 13 percent derivation for oil producing states. We cannot be stampeded into doing the wrong thing. So, where is the 13 percent derivation for oil producing states. In fighting insurgency, you must respect the law”.
He said that the negative actions against the State Government were targeted at denying Rivers the balance of the Paris Club refund.
Governor Wike also informed the State House of Assembly members of the refusal of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to release budget support fund to the State Government, when other states had received the fund.
“If you criticise the government, they deny the State funds due to it. This is a government that claims that it is fighting corruption”, he said.
He commended the State House of Assembly for its support, urging it to stand firm as the state approaches the political era.
The governor said that the numerous successes recorded by the state were due to the sacrifices of the people in the face of dwindling resources.
Earlier, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Owaji-Ibani described the Governor Wike as a leader with outstanding developmental qualities.
He said the imprints of the governor were found in all the local government areas of the state.
Also, he noted that the Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year Award 2017 was a crown of previous awards that Wike had received.
Owaji-Ibani was accompanied by the leadership and members of the House to make the presentation to Governor Wike.
He represented Governor Wike at the Leadership Newspaper awards in Abuja.