Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Governors to Jonathan - Don't Starve Us of Funds

Leadership (Abuja)
26 October 2011

The chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that although the federal government has the right to institute the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), states should be given the latitude to access their own funds and contribute their quota to the federal government.

Amaechi stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt during a colloquium to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court judgment that ushered him into office on October 25, 2007.

The NGF chairman's statement is coming in the wake of the suit instituted by the 36 state governors against the federal government on the SWF where they are asking the Supreme Court to restrain the federal government from making any further withdrawal from the account hitherto known as the "Excess Crude Account".

He said: "The conduct of the Government of the Federation and her officials is a violation of the principle of rule of law and breach of the independence of the judiciary and constitutes a violation of the principle of rule of law handed down by the Supreme Court.

"The rule of law eliminates completely the rule of man. Governors agree that the federal government should save but the law has to be respected. What the federal government has done is merely kidnapping of our money."

The governor added that the SWF, like all things in the country, must fall within the ambit of the law, saying: "Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution was talking about consolidated revenue. Federal government should give states their money."

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