Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, for approving the payment of a backlog of 13 percent oil derivation deductions since 1999 to Niger Delta states.
Governor Wike revealed that one of the reasons why his administration has been able to embark on several projects was because of President Buhari’s approval and release of unpaid 13 percent derivation deductions since 1999 to all states in the Niger Delta.
The governor spoke on Friday during the inauguration of the Dr. Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt by President Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
According to him, the numerous projects he has embarked on in the state could not have been possible but for the release of the backlog of deductions of the 13 percent derivation.
The governor also stated that every state in the Niger Delta has been paid the backlog of the funds.
He said: “My prayer is that they shouldn’t do well so that we can take over, but the truth is that, and let me say this for the first time, so many people have asked, where am I getting this money (for projects) from?
“I want the Attorney General to thank Mr President on our behalf. The 13 percent oil derivation deductions, monies that were not paid to Niger Delta states since 1999, Mr President approved and paid all of us in the Niger Delta.
“And for me, it will be unfair not to tell the public, it is not from FAAC money, it’s the money that was paid to me (us) as Rivers State, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and that’s why we have been commissioning projects everyday.
“I want to, on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State, thank the President, because as an opposition, he could have well not pay, and nothing would have been done. After all, since 1999, the money has not been paid.”
The governor also disclosed that the contract for the Law School project was awarded to indigenous contractors, who handled each of the structures under strict supervision, costing the state government about N17 billion.
President Buhari, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami, at the event, said the resultant effects of governors sterling efforts has continued to strengthen the rule of law and national development.
President Buhari said the project being commissioned, among several others, was an abiding testament to the commitment of Governor Wike to the promotion of legal education and development in Rivers State and beyond.
“I need not engage in poetic verbosity to properly describe the grand wonder that is being commissioned today. The icing on the cake is the fact that this edifice and its state-of-the-art facilities are structured to be self-sustaining through associated revenue earners, as designed by a man of higher vision who is now fondly referred to as Mr Project.”
“These are indeed pace-setting and unparalleled contributions by a State Government to what is ordinarily under the remit of the Federal Government.
“Governor Wike’s dedication to these projects is better appreciated from the viewpoint of his being an unrelenting advocate of true federalism in Nigeria,” he said.
President Buhari reiterated that the project served as an avenue for the need to promote cooperation and understanding between the Federal and State Governments in the overall national interest and the welfare of all Nigerians.