“Nigerians also want to know how much the Federal Government has received in total to date and what it has done with it.”
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has challenged the Federal Government to account for the budgetary allocation it receives monthly from the Federation Account, in view of its poor record of development.
The party was responding to a statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Sunday asking Nigerians to beam their searchlight not just on the Federal Government.
She reportedly said the allocation of some states per annum was more than the annual budgets of some countries.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said while Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was right in asking Nigerians to challenge their state governors to account for their monthly allocations, such challenge should not be limited to the state governments alone.
“Yes, Nigerians should seek accountability from their state governments, but it is important to note that the biggest challenge should be directed at the Federal Government, because it takes the biggest chunk of the monthly budgetary allocations.
“While all the 36 states together collect only 26.72 per cent and all the 774 local governments collect a total 20.6 per cent, the Federal Government alone takes 52.68 per cent, hence it bears the greatest responsibility to Nigerians in terms of the provision of social amenities, creation of jobs and infrastructural development.
“Since education, agriculture and health, for example, fall under the concurrent list, Nigerians must – in addition to challenging their state governments – ask the Federal Government what it has done with its huge chunk of federal allocations, against the background of massive unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure and the poor health facilities that have seen public officials, including the President, scurrying to foreign hospitals for medical treatment,” it said.
The opposition party said there was no doubt that whatever achievements the Jonathan-led Federal Government has attributed to itself since assuming office have constituted a mere tokenism compared with the quantum of funds that have accrued to it.
”It is therefore imperative that he who must come to equity, must come with clean hands, and that those who point a finger at others must realise that four others are pointing at them. It is not just enough to say certain states have received certain allocations; Nigerians also want to know how much the Federal Government has received in total to date and what it has done with it.
”The Federal Government must lead the way in ensuring accountability for the funds from the Federation Account, just as local and state governments have a responsibility for accountability,” the party said.
It warned against using such allocations as an instrument of blackmail by what it called a non-performing Federal Government.
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