Activist Petitions Nigeria’s Accountant-General on N78 billion Refund to Rivers

A Port Harcourt-based civil rights activist, Charles Jaja, has petitioned the Accountant General of the Federation, to declare how much the Federal Government had released to the Rivers State Government as reimbursement for the amount the state government spent on some federal roads in the state.

Jaja’s petition came after Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, declared that the state government got only N52 billion out of the N78 billion the federal government promised to refund it.

Jaja said he had to seek clarification from the Accountant General of the Federation because of the conflicting claims by Wike over the reimbursement of the money.

“At a time the governor also boasted that he is busy carrying out his work without even touching the money. Even when the pensioners pleaded with him to use money from that place to pay them, he bluntly refused.

“That is why I have made this application to the Accountant General. I am calling on him to tell the Accountant General to make public what was made to Rivers State. Every time, the governor wants us to believe that the Federal Government is the problem of Rivers State. Meanwhile here our government is running programmes in secrecy. It is extremely unacceptable.”

The governor had in January confirmed in newspaper publications that he had received the N78 billion refund. He had also said that he was yet to touch the money because he would use it for project execution. He also used the medium to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to visit the state to commission his projects.

Wike had on Tuesday said that the refund of the N78 billion was not backed with cash and that a bank had to discount the money and pay N52 billion to the Rivers State Government pending when the cash would be paid by the Federal Government in four years’ time.

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