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Edo received only N2.1 billion as a 13% refund from the government

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THE Edo State government responded yesterday to the controversy surrounding the alleged release of trillions of naira from the state’s arrears from the country’s 13 percent derivation formula, claiming that it has only received N2.1 billion out of the N28 billion owed to the state.Speaking to reporters in Benin City, state Commissioner for Finance, Joseph Eboigbe, who was flanked by his Communication and Orientation counterpart, Chris Neikhare, and Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media Projects, Crusoe Osagie, said there was a repayment plan for the arrears to be paid in five years of four quarters in a year.”It was the Commissioners of Finance in Nigeria under the aegis of FAAC, particularly those from the oil producing states, who noticed an anomaly in respect of the Federal Government spending money from crude oil and gas sales and not taking out derivation,” he said. So, the work was completed, and a total of about N1 trillion was established as owing to the oil producing states; it went through the entire process, and the FEC approved it, as well as a repayment methodology approved by RMFAC, and they now agreed on what was owed to each state.”Edo State contributed N28 billion to that total.” The method and manner in which this money would be delivered to the states was also approved. The net amount that will be sent to each state over a five-year period; each year, you will receive quarterly remittances, which means four releases per year for the next five years.”By the time they began the releases in October, Edo State had received N700 million per quarter, which is verifiable in our bank account.” So far, we have three quarterly releases; that is what has entered the state coffers, and it is verifiable; it is in the bank, and the Office of the Accountant General has the records. So, our share was N28 billion net, and it will be distributed in five years, with 20 quarterly distributions. Three has come a long way.”On what specific projects the state has used the money for, Nehikare stated that the income was part of the state’s resource expenditure, adding, “Edo State has received N2.1 billion, and you will agree with me that we have people who have religiously used these resources.” We are not a wealthy state, but we are wealthy in terms of human capital development, and we are wealthy in terms of people who can manage our resources in such a way that we can reap significant benefits.”

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