Port Harcourt — Despite oil prices soaring high around $72 per barrel, while Nigeria’s 2021 budget benchmark was predicated on $40, there is not a dollar in the Excess Crude Account, ECA, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has said.
Governor Udom has also decried the deteriorating economic state of the nation, as well as what he described as deprivation of the South-South states of revenue due to them, through the current alleged fuel subsidy regime.
The Governor at a meeting with South-South Excos of the Peoples Democratic Party, in Uyo, wondered why at $72 per barrel crude oil price, payment of salaries and wages still constitute difficulty in the country.
He maintained that Nigeria’s problem was not about political party but lack of sincerity by those in leadership.
“As at today, oil price is $72 per barrel, while our budget benchmark was less than $40, yet there is not a dollar in the excess crude account.
“Even our 13percent oil derivation is not given to us. They say they are using it to pay for subsidy and we don’t know those consuming 93million litres of petrol every day.
“Tell me, what logistics do we have in Nigeria to support importation of 93 million litres of petrol every day?
The Governor noted that with limited pipelines to distribute the product to every part of the country, and the poor roads network across Nigeria, it was surprising that the country allegedly evacuates 93 million litres of petroleum products every day.
Governor Emmanuel said that the expenditure was also recorded during the Covid19 lockdown last year.
“Even during COVID, we were still paying for subsidy on daily basis, but there was no movement. Who were those moving with the petrol, we don’t know. All these to deny us of the 13percent derivation, when we can barely pay salaries and to construct a kilometre of road here takes about eight times the cost of making it in other regions,” he added.
Also, the National Vice Chairman of PDP, South-South, Chief Dan Obih, decried the inability of the present federal government to proffer solution to the economic recession and alarming rate of insecurity and violence in the country.
“These are certainly not very good times. As a man with very sound economic background, we notice that on a daily basis the Naira is on a free fall.
“This country needs the PDP than ever before because of the problems that this government has not been able to solve.”