The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) says the government of Akwa Ibom State has not misappropriated any of the 13% derivation arrears paid to oil-producing states since 2021.
The CLO stated that the rising anxiety around the matter was unwarranted because the state government has factored in the anticipated arrears in each budget since 2021.
While speaking to members of the press in Uyo, the state capital, the chairman of the CLO, Mr Franklin Isong, urged politicians to exercise self-control and not let their desire for political power cloud their judgement or cause disquiet and tension within the State.
He said, “CLO’s independent investigation into the issue has revealed that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the account of the Government of Akwa Ibom State started in 2021.
“CLO noted that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government were captured in the 2021 Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom and 2021 approved revised Appropriation Law of the State.
“CLO also noted that the Federal Government’s 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State was captured in the 2022 Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State and in 2022 approved revised Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State.
“CLO can confirm that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government is reflected in the 2023 Appropriation Bill of Akwa Ibom State currently under consideration by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
“CLO’s findings further revealed that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government was captured as one of the sources of revenue accruable to the account of the Government of Akwa Ibom State in the Accountant General’s Audited Report for 2021 and will be captured in the Accountant General’s Audited Report for 2022,” the chairman explained.
According to Isong, the CLO’s project tracking of Federal and State lawmakers from the State exemplifies the organisation’s commitment to holding political office holders and government responsible to the public.
CLO has visited the constituency projects of some of the legislators so far, and the activity will continue. CLO will be able to assess the performance of state and federal legislators after the exercise is complete.
More than 50 road projects have been reviewed and determined to be completed or in various stages of completion. According to the organisation’s chairman, huge improvements have also been made in industrialisation, aviation, the environment, power, health, agriculture, and education.
In light of this, he praised Governor Udom Emmanuel and the State’s security services for maintaining the calm that has made Akwa Ibom Nigeria’s least violent State over the past seven and a half years.