Group Urges Buhari to Hold Wike Accountable Over N78.9 Billion Derivation Refund to Rivers State
The Network for the Defence of Democratic and Good Governance (NDDGG) on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to hold Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to account for a sum of N78.9 billion 13% derivation refund to Rivers State by the Federal Government.
In a statement signed by High Chief Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich and Sankara E. Young, the group said President Buhari “who has continued to show commitment to the development of the Niger Delta and particularly Rivers state, should kindly ensure, although Rivers state government is not an appendage of the federal government, he should ensure that monies allocated to the state particularly the N78.9 billion is accounted for and does not continue to develop wings.”
Read the full statement below:
78.9 BILLION REFUNDS TO RIVERS STATE BY FGN, 13% DERIVATION: DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENCY AND PROBITY
Our organisation Network for the Defence of Democratic and Good Governance NDDGG is a good governance and anti-corruption advocacy group in Nigeria.
COMMENDING MR. PRESIDENT
- It is on this note that we commend His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for the magnanimity of his government to make refunds of seventy eight billion, nine hundred million Naira (78.9 billion Naira) to rivers government as confirmed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state in his thank you letter to the President.
LETTER ON 118 BILLION NAIRA ALLEGED FRAUD
- You will recall that sometime in June 2020, the NDDGG in line with the Freedom of Information Act, wrote the Rivers state government some letters seeking explanation concerning a publication in The Nation Newspaper over a certain 118 billion Naira which it allegedly embezzled but the state has still not responded appropriately.
Therefore in furtherance to our advocacies for probity and accountability, we make the following demands and state some undisputed facts:
SECRET BUDGET OF RIVERS STATE
- That whereas the Rivers state government does not have any accessible budget since the inception of Governor Nyesom Wike in 2015 till date and whereas the budget of Rivers state 2020 if any, that the government should publish details as to how and what projects the 78.9 billion would be used for in line with the Public Procurement Laws. This will enable interested watchers to monitor the process to avoid irregularities and diversion of the money.
PUBLISH PROJECTS FROM 13% DERIVATION
- That Rivers state government should publish identifiable and verifiable projects wherein it expended the proceeds of the thirteenth percent (13%) derivation funds allocated to the Oil bearing Communities through it’s account by the federal government of Nigeria from 2015 till date. The federal government should review the 13% derivation funds to integrate a committee of community-appointed representatives of Oil Producing Communities in the structure to manage the funds. This will enable them to determine what projects are carried out in their respective Oil producing Communities. This trust fund structure should have both anti graft and civil society representatives as to checkmate the activities of the committee particularly in Rivers state where these monies are not accounted for during the reign of this current administration.
RIVERINE AREAS PRODUCE 60% OIL
- That the Rivers state government should publish verifiable mega projects it has executed in the riverine part of the states which produces over 60% of revenue derived in the state and contributes to the GDP of the federation, but has been deliberately marginalised by the Nyesom Wike administration in the areas of project citing and general government attention etc.
WIKE FRUSTRATES RIVERINE APPOINTEES
- That the Rivers state Governor has compromised all government appointees and elected officials of the state from the Riverine axis including his deputy governor a woman, whom he has relegated to the background without any form of respect or responsibility in flagrant breach of the 1999 constitution.
- All proposed bridges and roads that should open up and connect the Riverine communities of the state for economic and social opportunities have been placed on perpetual embargo by the Governor. Even though majority of the riverine communities are oil producing and are beneficiaries of the 13% derivation funds which the state government have refused to utilize but rather embezzled.
BUHARI SHOULD HOLD WIKE TO ACCOUNT FOR 78.9BILLION NAIRA
- That the President, Muhammadu Buhari who has continued to show commitment to the development of the Niger Delta and particularly Rivers state, should kindly ensure, although Rivers state government is not an appendage of the federal government, he should ensure that monies allocated to the state particularly the 78.9 billion Naira is accounted for and does not continue to develop wings.
INVITATION TO FACT CHECK RIVERS PROJECTS
- That the Network for the of Defense of Democratic Good Governance (NDDGG) invites Transparency International, Amnesty International, National Human Rights Commission among others to join us on in Rivers state on a fact finding mission on our claims in ensuring that the Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration observes all accountability and transparency measures in the running of the state in the interest of development.
High Chief Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich, Sankara .E. Young
Founder/Leader NDDGG F.C.T Coordinator NDDGG
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