‘Don’t be distracted,’ Akpabio apologises to Governors over claims of fresh N30bn from FG

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Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has apologised to state governors over his claim that N30 billion was paid afresh to each of them from the federation account to ameliorate inflation and high cost of living.

NewsClick Nigeria reports that during plenary last Tuesday, Akpabio said, an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30 billion each from the federal government to reduce hardships in their respective states.

The senate president made the comment during deliberation on the N30 trillion Ways and Means advances obtained by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) .

In response to Akpabio’s claim, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and his counterpart in Akwa Ibom, Umo Eno, denied receiving the cash from the federal government.

Makinde said the senate president was trying to play politics with the welfare of Nigerians.

However, in a statement on Monday, Akpabio said he regretted making the unverified comment.

The statement was issued by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment,” the statement said.

It also said “Akpabio is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”

It said the senate president has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance adding “He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.”

Akpabio, the statement added, “recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

Read the full statement:

“The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance. During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about #30b to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable Stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance. He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda” he added.