Governors meet Osinbajo over N250bn allocation shortfall
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a delegation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held talks at State House, Abuja, yesterday. The meeting focused on resolving the over N250 billion shortfall in their monthly allocations.
This came as the NGF on Tuesday urged Nigerians not to despair in spite of the economic recession, saying government was working tirelessly to tackle the problem.A source at the meeting disclosed that the governors wanted to correct the erroneous impression that they received humongous allocations and diverted the same to private accounts while citizens suffered.
The governors, at a meeting, last Friday, had set up a three-man committee, comprising governors of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel; Bauchi, Muhammad Abubakar; and Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, to meet with the Federal Government on the shortfall.
But only the Akwa Ibom and Bauchi governors were at the Presidential Villa to meet with Osinbajo. Osun State governor, said to be out of the country, was, however, represented by the chairman of the Forum.
Recall that the Federal Government had deducted N32 billion in allocation to states from the Federation Account in April 2016 following loans incurred. Osun State, said to be worst hit, according to Economic Confidential, had it’s allocation of N2.030 billion wiped away by a deduction of N2.391 billion, leaving a deficit of N361 million to be paid by the state in subsequent months.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Udom Emmanuel, who did not give details, simply said the outcome was in the interest of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration’s anti-corruption campaign and economic diversification programme would tackle lack of job opportunities and deprivation that make the country’s youths vulnerable to recruitment by human traffickers.
Buhari disclosed this yesterday at a meeting on modern slavery, hosted by U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, on the margins of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71) in New York.
“We are also investing more on infrastructure development, education and health for our people. When the results of our efforts become manifest, the attraction of seeking greener pastures abroad will become less,” he said.
Buhari commended the British Prime Minister for drawing the attention of the international community to the serious issue, which coincides with global focus on migration and refugee crisis.
Calling for practical and innovative measures “to address all the modern day human tragedies,” the President said: “More worrisome is the fact that human trafficking and modern day slavery have created a dangerous political economy of their own. In consequence, this international criminality is defined by the activities of human traffickers that lure unsuspecting victims into forced labour and inhuman treatment.”
He said Nigeria “is ready and willing to partner with other countries and international organisations to confront this phenomenon. We have a strong commitment to combating the menace of modern slavery, and will redouble our efforts to prohibit human trafficking, while providing succour to its hapless victims.”
On measures taken by the country against the evil practice, he said the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Nigeria Immigration Service have established a joint working group, to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants from the country. “We are aware of the challenge for Nigeria, but our resolve to combat it is strong and unshakable,” he added.