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PDP Governors Seek Reversal Of Nigeria’s Ugly Security, Economic Trends, Hail Governor Udom

Governors of PDP controlled states in Nigeria have extolled the virtues and achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, noting that he has brought prudence, innovation and competence in the management of state resources.

The governors who had witnessed the arrival of two new Airbus A220-300 series into the fleet of the Akwa Ibom State owned Airline, Ibom Air, noted that Mr Emmanuel’s ingenuity have brought about major landmark projects and interventions in his home state.

In a Communiqué issued after a meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum held on 14th June, 2021 at Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the governors noted with concerns, the deteriorating economic and security situations and worsening social and political tensions in the country.

They called upon the federal government to take urgent steps to reverse the ugly trends of insecurity, economic deterioration, threats to democracy and constitutional inconsistencies, and also stressed the need for the decentralization of security management in the country.

They expressed dismay at the seeming obliviousness of the President of his ultimate authority, under the Constitution, over the coercive instruments of State security, and not the Governors, as expressed in his recent media interview on the subject.

They also proposed an appropriate legal framework that will involve the states in policing, to foster synergy between States and the Federal Government in security operations.

“The PDP Governors reiterated the need to decentralise the operations of the security apparatus of state even within the existing legal framework, to ensure the input of local operators in State and Local Governments in policing and security.

“Even though Police is on the Exclusive List, the States, as a practical matter spend huge sums of money to support the security agencies to carry out their duties.”

On what it described as emerging threats to Nigeria’s democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law, the PDP Governors’ Forum cautioned the Federal Government to exercise power with restraint.

Decrying what it termed opaqueness in the operations Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Forum described the Corporation’s decision to withhold its statutory contributions to the Federation Account and sometimes spending accrued funds at its discretion as clear violation of the constitution as states and local governments are starved of needed funds for development programmesw for the wellbeing of citizens.

“The NNPC is duty bound to make proceeds of sales or business of Petroleum available to the Federation Account which belongs to the three tiers of government, excluding reasonable and verified and verifiable cost of operations.

“The Federal government through NNPC is a manager of our oil wealth merely as A TRUSTEE for all Nigerians” the Communiqué stated.
It therefore added that “a situation where the NNPC decides in a totally discretionary and often whimsical manner, how much to spend, how to spend it and how much to remit to the Federation Account, contrary to the letters and even the spirit of the 1999 Constitution”.

Similarly, the Forum condemned what it termed pervasion of autonomy by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in its operation in which the apex bank operates as an independent government within a Government, creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any form of controls or supervision, describing it as patently subversive of constitutional orders.

It also called on other agencies of Government such as Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services, Customs and Excise and similar organizations that are statutorily required to make contributions into the Federation Account, to do more, while calling on the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to urgently send the revised revenue allocation formula, which provides that more resources be made available to states and local governments where ordinary Nigerians reside, to the President for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment.

Describing Federal Government borrowing to fund the Nigerian Television Authority as frivolous and scandalous, the PDP Governors frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria, with over 80% of normal appropriation spent on debt servicing, a situation, they maintained, destroyed all gains of the PDP Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations.

They cautioned the present government against saddling incoming generations of Nigerians with undue debt burden, positing that money should only be borrowed for productive purposes, as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 Trillion Naira was already becoming clearly unsustainable, in view of the nation’s earnings and GDP.

“The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked, will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy”, they warned.

The Forum requested Mr. President to review the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria in the national interest, describing the reason for the ban as personal and harbinger of descent into dictatorship. This, it added, will further worsen Nigeria’s 33% unemployment rate, which is the highest in the world, making it the country with second highest poverty rate.