Friday 4 October 2013
Nigeria Is Experiencing Financial Crisis, Says Edo Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Making this assertion during a press briefing in Benin-City, Thursday, Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, said the country was experiencing financial crisis as most states could not pay the salaries of their workers.
Following the Nigerian Government's inability to pay monthly allocation to states, Mr. Oshiomhole implored the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay into the Federation Account the over N2.3 trillion it was owing it.
He said the corporation was insincere with Nigerians as it could not reveal the number of barrels of crude oil it was refining daily.
“I don’t know if the federal government is broke but I know there is serious crisis and it is unprecedented in the history of this country. For the first time since 1999, allocations can no longer come as at when due to states. I have been involved in trying to understand what the reasons are and I have not seen anything yet. Whether we use the word broke or you deny the word broke, the truth is that there is financial crisis in Nigeria which has very serious national security implications.
“Because when states can’t pay salaries, federal government can’t pay salaries as at when due, and you can’t pay your contractors and your contractors will begin to retrench their workers, that is recipe for national disaster. So, I am hoping that NNPC should wake up and meet its obligation to the federation account otherwise, the integrity of government is at stake.
"If I can’t keep my promise, federal government can’t keep its promise, all other governors can’t keep their promises, the Nigeria electorate will be so disillusioned and it will be a disaster. So I am hoping that NNPC recognises that it cannot be business as usual and they have few cases to answer as far as I am concerned," the governor said.
According to him, “Two years ago, it was about the kind of money we were spending on subsidy. In no time following series of probes and enquiries by the National Assembly and by the presidency they have since discovered the kind of money they stole as regards subsidy, all the people that conspired with them and I believe the EFCC is dealing with that.
"But just as we are dealing with that, now we begin to hear about the theft of our crude oil such that what is accruing to the Federation Account is not enough to meet budgetary provision. As you know, this year’s budget was based on $79 per barrel, that is about 2.4, 2.5million barrels per day. Now the news is that contrary to all the forecast, nothing is getting better.
"And it is sad that we are not doing enough to change things for the better, the challenge of government in any part of the world is to deal with the issues. If the economy is not doing well, you do certain things differently and recover. Well it is no more a matter for debate that we are 10 months into the new year and oil has performed very well, selling between $105 and $110 per barrel throughout 2013, which means that if we have budgetary provision of $79, we ought to have a surplus of about $30, which should be in the crude oil account. But rather than having this surplus we are witnessing a situation where Federal Allocations no longer come as at when due, and states can’t pay salaries.
“In Edo State like the rest of other 35 states, part of our July allocation has not been paid. About one-third of our August allocation has not been paid and nothing has been paid for September allocation. And it is the first time since 1999 that this thing is happened. The explanation by NNPC is completely watery. They collect 455,000 barrels per day for domestic refinery, but they also agreed that the refineries are not working, that the very best they cannot refine more than 100,000 barrels per day, so the question is what you are doing with the balance of 355,000?
"So, why will you run business like that, you take 455,000 barrels a day to refine, even when your refineries are not working. Okay whether the refineries did it, where is the money? If you multiply $109 by 455,000 barrels per day, you will imagine the kind of money NNPC ought to be paying into the federation account. And from some of the figures that have been thrown around, NNPC is owing the federation account over N2.3 trillion. And Edo State has a share of that amount that will run into several billions of naira.
“But last month, many states could not pay salaries, but in Edo State we were able to pay. Even the federal government could not pay salaries; I think they paid July salaries around August 14. But we paid August salaries in August."
Source – Saharareporters.com
Posted by Editor. at 21:20
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