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Food crisis: FG didn’t give states N30bn each – Makinde replies Akpabio

Oyo State governor and Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Seyi Makinde, has declared that there was no truth in the claim by Senate president, Godswill Akpabio, that states of the federation got additional N30 billion each outside of their statutory revenue allocations, to address the food insecurity challenges in their domain

Food crisis: FG didn’t give states N30bn each, Makinde replies Akpabio

The governor, who stated this while commissioning the newly renovated multi-million naira Iseyin Central Mosque at Iseyin, noted that Oyo State had not got any N30 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, or the federal government, adding that his government had been and would always be open and transparent to the people of the state.

Makinde, who added that he had been doing everything to cushion the effect of the economic hardship on the people, warned that leaders should instill confidence and hope in the citizenry in this trying time, rather than playing the blame game.

He added that apart from Oyo State not getting N30 billion from any agency or department of the federal government, he could say the same for his colleague-governors as vice chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF.

Governor Makinde decried Akpabio’s reliance on unverified reports, clarifying that it was impossible for states to get funds from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, since all revenues go into the federation account, with the federal government, states and local governments as owners.

According to him, the only fund Oyo State got from the federal government outside of statutory allocation was N2 billion out of the N5 billion promised all states in the wake of the removal of fuel subsidy.

Makinde said: “This is not the time to play politics, as we have real issues that deserve real solutions. But yesterday, I saw the video and read in the news where the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, made a statement, though he said it was unverified report, stating that state governments received additional N30 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, outside of our statutory allocation, in the last few months, to address food security.

“Please, listen to me loud and clear. I can speak for Oyo State and can also speak for any of my colleagues. This is because, as the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, I know when things are happening.

“If I want to play politics, I will keep quiet and let this slide, but I am not going to let this slide. FIRS cannot give money to any state. It is not possible. All revenues accruing to the country goes into the federation account and it is distributed to all tiers of government.

‘The federal government does not give states money. The money in the federation belongs to all of us; it does not only belong to the federal government.

“So, if the Senate President, who is the number three citizen in this country, could be quoting an unverified report, people are looking at us as leaders. This is the period we are supposed to give confidence to our people; it is not the period to start playing politics or to start looking for scapegoats.

“We need to engage with our people. If our policies are not working, we need to listen to the people and amend. So, if the number three citizen had nothing but unverified report, why did he need to say it? Does his statement give confidence to the people or solve the problem of hunger and anger in the land?

“Let me say it clearly, as for Oyo State and for most of my colleagues, there is nothing like N30 billion being given to states for food security and I stand to be challenged.

“Yes, the federal government promised the states N5 billion and out of that, it only gave N2 billion and they are even asking that the N2 billion be refunded right now.

“It is the responsibility of the federal government to manage the fiscal situation in Nigeria and manage the inflationary trend we have in the country right now.

“We have been transparent about everything we are doing here and this is the time for us to stay together as a nation to solve the problems we are facing. It is not the time to engage in blame games and propaganda. Hunger and anger are real and, as leaders, we must address them.”

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