Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have berated the presidency over its recent comment on its communiqué.
The governors had in their recent meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, raised concerns over the operational method of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Reacting to the issues raised by the governors, the Presidency, on Wednesday, said that the PDP governors were looking for money to spend.
But in counter reaction on Friday, the PDP governors insisted that the statement from the presidency betrays the abysmal ignorance, lack of appreciation of the issues raised in their communiqué, adding that it was unbelievable that such low quality response could come from Nigeria’s seat of power.
In a statement by its director-general, CID Maduabum, the PDP governors said it was worrisome that the presidency could be celebrating the non-remittance of funds by NNPC to the federation account because they should not “break the bank” for PDP governors.
The governors, however, called on the presidency to spend its money the way it desires and leave that of the state, stressing that, “when NNPC makes its contributions to the federation account, the Federal Government’s share in the federation account can be spent by it in a manner it desires.”
They argued that NNPC cannot spend money belonging to the other tiers of government for them, pointing out that Mr President cannot change the constitution at his pleasure.
According to the governors, “The constitutional provisions on Public Revenue are clear. Section 162. (1) of the constitution says: ‘The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called the Federation Account into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of Government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“S.162(1), defines Revenue thus: ‘For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, ‘revenue’ means any income or return accruing to or derived by the Government of the Federation from any source and includes “(a) any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law; (b) any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation; (c) any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in any company or statutory body.”
“It is even more shocking for the presidency, as an institution, to embody the desecration of our constitution in such a flippant, brazen and unserious manner as portrayed by the presidential spokesman,” the PDP said.