Governors Dispute Akpabio’s Claim, Reject N1 Trillion FG Lifeline Allegation

by Ohepo Ohepo

Governors across Nigeria have refuted claims made by Senate President Godswill Akpabio that the Federal Government allocated N1.08 trillion to states to combat the food crisis nationwide. At a mosque inauguration in Iseyin, Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde, serving as the Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated unequivocally that no state received the alleged N30 billion. This sentiment was echoed by officials from Lagos, Zamfara, Benue, Osun, Katsina, and Enugu states, all of whom denied the receipt of such funds.

In the wake of the removal of fuel subsidies and the devaluation of the naira last year, Nigeria has been grappling with inflation and economic hardship, leading to soaring food prices and a weakened economy. Akpabio, during a Senate plenary session, mentioned an “unconfirmed report” suggesting that state governors each received N30 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service to help alleviate inflation and food costs. He urged the governors to use these funds wisely to address the country’s challenges.

However, Governor Makinde criticized the Senate President for relying on unverified information and clarified that the Federal Inland Revenue Service could not have disbursed such funds to states. He emphasized that all revenues go directly into the federation account for allocation to all government tiers, calling for engagement with the public to address policy effectiveness.

In response, several state officials also confirmed that their governments did not receive the N30 billion as stated by Akpabio. They stressed transparency in their state accounts and refuted the claims made in the Senate.

The controversy arises amid Nigeria’s intensified border security and economic measures following a coup in Niger Republic, which led to the closure of the land border with Niger and heightened surveillance in northern states. The Nigeria Customs Service has been actively intercepting grain shipments to Niger, aiming to preserve domestic food supplies amidst the country’s economic challenges.

This situation highlights the complexity of Nigeria’s economic woes and the need for clear communication and transparency among federal and state governments to address the pressing needs of Nigerians effectively.

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