Social media trends in Nigeria

By Chioma Onuegbu & Harris Emanuel

Akwa Ibom State government has urged members of the public to ignore the figures being bandied in the social media as its share of the arrears of derivation refund, saying the figures were mere fiction.

The senator representing Uyo senatorial district and governorship candidate of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, Senator Bassey Akpan, had recently claimed that the state government has received over $1.1 billion equivalent to over N600 bilion as arrears of derivation refund.

But briefing newsmen, yesterday, at the state secretariat in Uyo, the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Linus Nkan, said the state government had received N186 billion in tranches of N160 billion, while N41.434billion was projected for 2022, of which N26 billion, as at third quarter of 2022, had been received.

Nkan, who was in company of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong;, Commissioner for Works, Prof. Eno Ibanga and Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ekerete Udoh, added that with the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting System, IPSAS, it was impossible to for any unaccounted expenditure to occur.

His words: “It has become pertinent to respond to issues relating to the refund of the 13 per cent derivation arrears to oil producing states of which Akwa Ibom is one.

“The agitation for the refund of the arrears, which were deducted from the earnings due to the oil-bearing states was undertaken by the affected governors, directly and through their officers at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, which agreed with the very detailed submission and calculated the sums accruing to the states.

“However, due to the large amount involved and the inability of the Federal Government to pay all at once, it was agreed that the payments be made in tranches quarterly, over a period of five years.

“In 2021, the sum of N160 billion was remitted to the state’s account. In 2022, the projected income from this source was N41.434 billion, but as at Q3, the sum of N26 billion has been received.

“In line with proper financial records keeping and public finance transparency, the refund was reflected in the 2021 budget as “Other Exceptional Income:” 13 percent derivation revenue arrears, which was revised to the tune of N193 billion; in 2022, the revised provision was  N41.434 billion; in the 2023 budget, the estimate for this line item is N100 billion.

“A simple calculation of these figures will reveal the sustainability thinking disposition that guides the governance of our state. We, therefore, urge the entire public to ignore the figures bandied around on various media platforms, as those are nothing more than fiction.”

“With the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting System, IPSAS, it is impossible for any unaccounted expenditure to occur. It is also worthy to point out that the state’s budgets and annual reports must first be reviewed by the World Bank and it is practically impossible that financial infractions can skip their attention.”

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