Governors of All Progressives Congress, APC, controlled states, yesterday, complained about dwindling allocation to their states and wondered why their Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, colleagues were not sharing their concern.
The APC governors who met in Ilorin, Kwara State expressed concern about a possible secret funding for the PDP states. The governors, who vowed to meet President Goodluck Jonathan over the issue, also resolved to allow internal democracy to guide the selection of a presidential candidate for the party.
The summit of the APC governors under the aegis of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, in Illorin, however, did not rule out the adoption of a consensus presidential candidate, but insisted that it must be done within the ambit of internal democracy.
The meeting of the APC governors was also a valedictory session for former Governor Kayode Fayemi who stepped down as governor of Ekiti State last Thursday. The APC governors praised Fayemi for what they described as his exemplary strength of character.
Chairman of the PGF, Governor Okorocha, who briefed newsmen at the end of the session which lasted several hours, expressed concern over what he described as the dwindling monthly allocation to the APC states.
He said: “This issue has become a very serious concern to us as governors and we felt that issues that affect the lives of our people must never be politicised. We refuse to accept the fact that this nation is broke and thank God that the Federal Government has confirmed that the nation is not broke. If the nation is not broke, what is due to states should be given to states.
“This idea of cutting what should go to states does not in any way promote democracy and democratic dividends. And so, we as progressive governors, call on the Federal Government to look into the issue of dwindling resources and convince us why the states should not get what is due to them.
“We demand to have a meeting with the President on this issue of dwindling resources as quickly as possible,” he stressed.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday, reassured that Nigeria is financially sound and has been meeting its local and international financial obligations despite dwindling revenues from crude oil exports. The assurance came from Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The minister, who gave the assurance at a crowded press conference in Abuja, said: “Despite the dwindling revenue of the nation due to falling crude oil prices and decrease in output, the nation is not broke, as feared in some quarters”.
“Nigeria is a country that is dependent on one commodity (oil) and that commodity is dependent on how much the buyers want to buy. We had a yo-yo kind of expenditure pattern before 2003 but after that even when there was a fall in the price of crude from $140 to about $35 or $38 between 2003 and 2008, our economy remained stable because we had accumulated about $22 billion in the Excess Crude Account.
“It is the same thing now. We may have to cut down on some of our expenditure. We may have to mobilize more revenue; we have to look at the fiscal policy; we have to look at the monetary policy — all of these have to come together and we are looking at them right now in the Ministry of Finance.” She had stated.