By Samuel Oyadongha, Emmanuel Una & Marie-Therese Nanlong, with Agency report
ABUJA—The Federal Government has deducted a total of N32bn from allocations of states from the Federation Account in the month of April 2016 for different loans they incurred.
In a report by the Economic Confidential, an economic intelligence magazine, Osun State is worst hit by the development and ranks number one, as its allocation for the month of April 2016 totaling N2.030 billion was wiped away by a deduction of N2.391 billion, leaving a deficit of N361 million to be paid in the subsequent month by the state.
This represents a whopping 117.8 per cent of the total allocation due the state from the federation account.
This means that Osun state had nothing to take home for the month of April, 2016, as other means of survival had to be adopted to keep the ship of governance in the state sailing.
Osun State is followed in the mind boggling deduction conundrum by Bayelsa State with a total deduction of N3.207 billion, out of an allocation of N4.812 billion for the month of April 2016 representing 66.66 percent of the total allocation.
Others are Cross River State with a total deduction of N1.405 billion; Ogun State, N1.185 billion; Plateau State, N1.248 billion and Ekiti State with N1.067 billion, all representing 63.46 percent, 57.20 percent, 56.52 percent and 55.33 percent respectively within the period under review.
From the investigation, not less than N3.078 billion of the total amount was deducted for bail-out funds granted the states by the Federal Government.
At least eight states had no deductions on bail-out 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 bail-out funds from the federal government or appropriate time for the deduction have not fallen due and are yet to commence.
Plateau, Bayelsa, Cross River react
Responding last night, Mark Longyen, Senior Special Adviser, Media, to Governor Simon Lalong, said the state spent about N1.1 billion monthly to service the debts and loans taken by the immediate past administration of former governor Jonah Jang.
He said: “For instance, the former governor took a bond of about N30 billion shortly before he left office, which alone attracts a monthly repayment of over N600 million.
“This is no doubt a huge burden on the finances of the state, considering the fact that the monthly wage bill of the state is now about N1.5 billion. However, governor Lalong has taken some steps to address the situation.’’
From Bayelsa, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the state, like other states, was also facing its share of pain due to the dwindling allocation and deduction from the federation account.
He said: “All the states, except Lagos, are struggling and the truth must be told that the deduction will continue to put the states in dire strait.
‘’It is something our own people must also realise that the deduction will further bring the states to their knees because before now the allocation coming to the states can hardly meet up with all the requirements, salaries and others. The deduction will further put the states in difficult situation.
From Cross River, although the state had been getting zero allocation due to deductions in allocation, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Christian Ita, said Governor Ben Ayade had re-engineered the state’s finances to keep it above troubled waters.
He said in spite of the financial situation, the state was paying workers’ salaries regularly and also meeting other financial commitments.
However, Chief Press Secretary to Osun State governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said last night he was not in a position to offer immediate reaction, asking that he be given today to react.