Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and representatives of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Tuesday met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, over the N250bn reduction in the monthly allocation of states.
Sources at the Villa told our correspondent that the governors wanted to correct the belief that they were receiving huge allocations but embezzling the funds.
The Federal Government had deducted N32bn from the allocations of states from the Federation Account in April for different loans incurredý.
At a meeting last Friday, the NGF set up a three-man committee comprising Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State; his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Udom Emmanuel; and Governor of Bauchi State, Muhammad Abubakar; to meet with the Federal Government to discuss the resolution of the shortfall of their allocation which has been dwindling in recent times.
Only the Akwa Ibom and Bauchi governors made it to the meeting while Osun governor was said to be out of the country. He was represented at the meeting by the Chairman and Director General of the Forum.
According to Economic Confidential, an economic intelligence magazine, Osun State was the most affected as its allocation of N2.030bn was wiped away by the deduction of N2.391bn, leaving a deficit of N361m to be paid in subsequent months by the state.
Bayelsa State was next with N3.207bn deducted from its N4.812bn while Cross River State had a total deduction of N1.405bn.
About N1.185bn was deducted from Ogun State; Plateau State, N1.248bn; and Ekiti State with N1.067bn.
About N3.078bn of the total amount was deducted for bailout funds granted the states by the Federal Government.
At least eight states had no deductions on bailout funds for the month of April 2016. The states are Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Jigawa, Kogi, Lagos, Rivers, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory did not collect the bailout funds from the Federal Government or appropriate time for the deduction have not fallen due and are yet to commence.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Emmanuel, who did not give details of their meeting with the Vice-President, said the meeting was in the interest of Nigerians.
He said, ý”We were mandated by the governors forum to come and discuss some certain issues with the Vice-President and that’s why you saw two of us here; we were supposed to be three but the third governor could not make it.
“So, that is why we came to discuss some issues with the Vice-President and it has been a very good meeting and we tackled some issues.
“Let me assure Nigerians that there is no developing country that doesn’t go through what we go through and how do we make effort to face the challenges, that’s why you see us putting heads together, trying to appraise and try to find a solution that will be enduring.”