Obaseki opens up on derivation fund, says N2.1bn received so far

The Edo State government on Wednesday disclosed that it has so far received N2.1 billion from the 13 percent derivation fund being paid by the Federal Government to oil-producing states.

Joseph Eboigbe, Edo State commissioner for finance, budget, economic planning and development, dispelled the controversial reports making the rounds that the Obaseki-led government has pocketed the money.

Eboigbe, while addressing journalists in Benin City, said a total of N28 billion was approved to Edo State which will be spread out over a period of time and only three tranches of N700 million amounting to N2.1 billion has been received.

“A total of about N1 trillion was established and refunded to the oil-producing states. It went through the process of economic council and a distribution method was adopted from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). They now established what will go to each state; Edo State’s share of that figure was N28 billion.

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“What was also approved was the way and manner the money will be distributed to the states. The net amount will come to each state over five years and each year, you will have quarterly remittance. The releases started in October, just last month.

“What the Federal Government did was to keep the share of each state, and by the time they started releasing, Edo State got N700 million per quarter. This is verifiable in our bank accounts. So, we have received three quarterly releases so far. This is what has come into the state coffers.

“Our share was N28 billion and will be distributed over five years. There will be 20 quarterly instalment releases. Three have come so far and each has been N700m. It is less than our monthly internally generated revenue which is N3bn.

“N700m is a small amount relative to what we spend. Obaseki normally disburses almost N3bn monthly on capital expenditures and the amount goes across all ongoing projects,” Eboigbe said.

Also speaking, Chris Nehikhare, Edo State commissioner for communication and orientation, said the “state government has judiciously used all the resources. We are not a rich state but we are rich in human capital development and have a lot of people who are able to manage our resources in such a way we can get a major benefit from it.

“We are not using our money for fancy projects but to build the system where people are taken care of to make sure life is better for them,” Nehikhare added.

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