From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Delta State Government on Monday said it has so far accessed a total of N44.7 billion from the accumulated N240 billion due as to it as an oil producing state.

The received amount comprises of a quarterly receipt of N4.9 billion for three quarters, and the recently accessed N30 billion from the N100 billion bridging finance application.

Our correspondent learnt that the Federal Government had over the years, deducted monies with respect to subsidy payment and investment in oil frontiers without crediting oil producing states as provided in the law establishing the 13% oil derivation principle.

Briefing journalists in Asaba, the state Commissioner of Finance, Fidelis Tilije, said the total accumulated amount was N240 billion and not N250 billion.

Tilije explained that the N240 billion was approved by both the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) plenary and National Economic Commission (NEC) for the payment to start.

Flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Olisa Ifeajika and Commissioner for Special Duties, Henry Siakpra, Tilije said because of the chronic nature of the nation’s economy at the moment, the payment was spread out on a quarterly basis for five years.

“As we speak today, Delta has received N4.9 billion in three quarters which gives a total N14.7 billion. The balance will be paid subsequently on a quarterly basis.

“We attempted to discount part of this payment to the tune of N150 billion, that we didn’t do again because we came back to look at the books and therefore decided we do N100 billion.

“Out of the N100 billion which is part of the approval received from the state House of Assembly, we have thus far accessed N30 billion as we speak,” he said.

He informed that the funds were being applied in the execution of on going legacy projects including the leisure park and film village; Koka flyover; Ughelli-Asaba road dualisation; Kwale industrial park; payment of pension arrears; and development of the three new universities.

Former national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole had at the weekend during a political rally in Warri, claimed that Okowa received N250 billion from the FG and urged citizens to call him to account.

Oshiomhole had amplified claims by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that President Muhammadu Buhari had been gracious to oil producing states by releasing money for execution of project, and urged residents of such oil producing states including Delta, to ask their governors for accounts of stewardship for such monies.


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Source: news