A’Ibom elders seek refund of N142bn on federal roads

By Christopher Akan, Uyo

Akwa Ibom Elders, under the aegis of the Akwa Ibom Vanguard, have faulted the Federal Government over the allocation of N1.92 bn capital projects to Akwa Ibom State in the 2016 budget. The elders, at a briefing on Friday by Sen. Anietie Okon, queried the allocation of the paltry sum of N1.92bn to the state out of the projected N6.06tn in the 2016 budget despite being the highest revenue contributor to the Federal Government.

 They said: “It is therefore to our chagrin that out of N6.06 trillion appropriated for the 2016 budget; only the meager sum of N1.92billion has been allocated for capital projects in Akwa Ibom state.

“Compare the above to the N209billion allocated to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the execution of 662 capital projects. It is painful that while the meagre sum of N1.92billion has been allocated to Akwa Ibom state, other states like Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Niger, Nassarawa etc, have more funds allocated to them for capital projects.

“Adamawa State is allocated N5.98billion, Borno and Gombe states have N5.46 billion and N9.70billion allocated to them respectively. While Nasarawa and Niger States are allocated N12.59 billion and N14.75billion.

“Indeed, the above allocations constitute a staggering contrast to the meagre sum of M1.92billion allocated to Akwa Ibom state for capital projects notwithstanding her status as the highest contributor to the revenue in the country and in consequence the highest financier of the 2016 budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The elders also said the allocation of N1.92bn was an unstated determination by the Federal Government to undermine, persecute and subjugate the people of the state.

They also warned the federal government to stop underpaying the oil producing states by over 50 per cent of the 13 per cent derivation.

The elders also urged the federal government to refund the N142bn the state expended on federal roads.

They said: “As it stands today, the Federal Government is owing Akwa Ibom state a whopping N142 billion on repairs of Federal Roads; this was agreed upon by the Federal Ministry of Works before the resources were committed.

“We are asking for the refund of the amount without delay to boost our revenue base in the face of marginalization.”

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