PDP govs berate presidency over response to Its Uyo communique

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the presidency over its response to it’s Uyo communique.

The governors had in its meeting on Monday in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state, expressed concern over the operational method of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). While the Presidency had on Wednesday said that the PDP governors are looking for money to spend.

Reacting the governors, in a statement by its Director General, Hon. CID Maduabum, described as pity for presidency to celebrate the non remittance of funds by NNPC to the Federation Account because they should not “break the bank” for PDP Governors.

The governors said: “The duty and responsibility of NNPC to pay revenues into the Federation Account is not a matter of discretion by NNPC. It is an imposition of law.

“The constitutional provisions on Public Revenue is clear. Section 162. (1) of the Constitution says: ‘The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called the Federation Account into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of Government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The statement partly read “S.162(1), defines Revenue thus: ‘For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, ‘revenue’ means any income or return accruing to or derived by the Government of the Federation from any source and includes

“(a) any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law; (b) any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation; (c) any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in any company or statutory body.

“It is even more shocking for the PRESIDENCY as an institution to embody the desecration of our Constitution in such a flippant, brazen and unserious manner as portrayed by the presidential spokesman.

“NNPC and other Revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government have mandatory obligations to pay into the Federation Account all its revenue after deducting legitimate cost of operations. Fuel subsidy or other profligate expenditures are not part of the cost of production,” the governors said.

They told the federal government to spend its money the way it desires and leave that of the state, adding, “when NNPC makes its contributions to the Federation Account, the Federal Governments share in the Federation Account can be spent by it in a manner it desires. NNPC cannot spend money belonging to the other tiers of government for them.This is the way the Constitution is designed by its authors. Mr President cannot change the Constitution at his pleasure. Perhaps these matters are too complex for Garba Shehu to comprehend!

“The States and Local Governments in Nigeria bear the brunt of education, health care, water, food production, infrastructure such as roads, and increasingly the security of lives and property among others. The States and Local Governments share of the Federation Account does not belong to Governors. Certainly not to PDP Governors. The case made by the PDP Governors Communique concerns all the States and Local Governments in Nigeria, not only PDP.

“Garba Shehu celebrates the fact that Naira is now over N500 to a Dollar in the parallel market. If his statement represents the thinking of the APC Federal Government, then we are in more trouble than we think.

“The implication of the fall of the Naira for cost of goods and services, including the price of food and basic needs of Nigerians is becoming unbearable for the average Nigerian. It has made even the recent minimum wage increases almost useless. But of course, those ensconced in the Presidential villa do not feel it.

“He repeats his assault on the sensibility of Nigerians in the way he addresses the Herder -Farmers conflict. Calling the legitimate request for ramping up ranching as a denial of the right of Nigerians to live and work anywhere in Nigeria, is perhaps the most illogical of the entire response.

“On Local Government, the President has not initiated a single legislation or amendment of the Constitution to make it a real third tier of Government, if the APC government so desires. He only flexes muscles with state governments by issuing unconstitutional Orders through Federal Government Agencies.”