Saturday, November 16, 2013

Amaechi: $5billion Secretly Withdrawn from ECA

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum, who is also Governor of
Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has alleged that the sum of $5b was
withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account without governors knowing what
the money was used for.
Amaechi, who spoke at the NGF retreat yesterday in Sokoto, Sokoto
State, said there was $9b in the account in January this year, but
regretted that the amount had been depleted without the governors
knowing why the money was withdrawn.
According to the governor: "The Excess Crude Account in January was
N9billion. That account belongs to Federal, States and Local
Governments. Today it is N4billion. We don't know who took the
Money accruing from the Federation Account and the sharing of the
money by the Federal Account Allocation Committee was one of the
topics discussed at the retreat.
Amaechi also alleged that the Federal Government had been using
anti-corruption agencies to harass governors who hold different
opinions from that of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He wondered why these anti-corruption agencies had refused to visit
other government establishments like the Federal Ministries of work,
finance, Niger Delta and even the NNPC.
Instead of this, he said the EFCC was always going to such states like
Kano and Jigawa, where governors of the affected states hold different
political views from that of President Jonathan.
He said, "Today, the EFCC is either in Jigawa or in Kano States
because they (the governors) disagree with the President. What about
NNPC? What about Ministry of Niger Delta and the Ministry of Works?
"The whole governors put together receive 26 per cent from the revenue
of the Federation. The Federal Government gets 52 per cent. And with
that 52 per cent, nobody goes after the Federal Government to say how
did you spent it. And then you go after those who get 26 per cent"
In a communique said, which emerged at the end of the retreat, the
governors, however, said it would be in the interest of the country If
Nigerians could eschew docility and participate more actively in
politics and demand better accountability and responsibility from
their leaders.
The forum also asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to be
transparent in its activities.
The meeting by the pro-Amaechi NGF governors was by only eight of the
19 governors in the camp.
Apart from the host governor, Aliyu Wammako, others governors in
attendance were those of Ekiti, Osun, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Rivers, Lagos
and Niger attended.
Governors of Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Kwara and Oyo states, however sent
their deputies.
House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former EFCC
chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, Prof. Wole Soyinka and Bishop Mathew Hassan
Kukah among others also attended the retreat.
According to the communique: " In view of the opaque nature of NNPC
operations," they (the governors) would continue to insist on
transparency in all facets of the petroleum value chain".
The governors also promised to pursue the diversification of the
Nigerian economy in order to reduce dependency on oil and reinforce
efforts at enhancing internally generated revenue to lessen the
dependency of states on the centre as a way to strengthen Nigeria's
They also insisted on the creation of state police, which they said
remain one of the requirements of a federal system of government and a
multi-level policing to improve on the security of citizens.
Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar 111, also called on
governors in the country to make use of their forum as an instrument
of unity rather than the current division among them.
The monarch made the plea yesterday, when members of the NGF led by
Amaechi, paid him a visit in his palace in Sokoto.
He maintained that it was only when the governors were united that
they could be able to deliver the goods and meet the yearnings of the

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