The Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said the federal monthly allocation to the state has been slashed by over 50 per cent.
Amaechi, who disclosed this during his New Year state broadcast on Thursday, explained that his administration would continue to review its finances in order to reduce the impact of pains inflicted on the people.
The governor added that apart from the reduction in the state’s monthly allocation, the ceding of oil wells in Soku and Etche to neighbouring states by the National Boundary Commission had affected the state’s finances.
Amaechi expressed sadness that there had been no plan to return the ceded oil wells to the state in spite of the evidence in favour of Rivers State, maintaining that his administration would continue to demand the right of the people.
He noted that while his administration inherited a monthly wage bill of about N2.5bn, the state government was now managing a wage bill of about N9.2bn every month.
Excerpts of what governor Amaechi said.
“We inherited a wage bill of about N2.5bn but we now pay almost N9.2bn every month. We do not regret the injection of needed manpower into the system especially in health and education for the sake of the future of this state, but our monthly allocation has dropped by over 50 per cent.
“Our administration has been faced with a battle of confronting the injustices that have been visited on our people. Besides the denial of economic opportunities, we have lost many of our assets. Our oil wells in Soku and Etche have been ceded to neighbouring states by the National Boundary Commission, with no plan to return them despite numerous evidence in our favour.
“We will continue to demand our rights as a people because that is a debt that we owe you. With oil prices crashing below budgeted levels, the pressure on our finances is very high.
“Despite these, Rivers State is one of the few states in Nigeria that have paid salaries up to December 2014. We will continue to review our finances and the options before us so as to reduce the impact of these natural and man-made pains inflicted on our people.”