Cross River State Government might be on a collision course with its sister states, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom, as it refuted publications credited to their respective governors, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and Obong Godswill Akpabio.
The first refutal was over the purchase of an aircraft by the Cross River state government at the cost of $6m from its Rivers counterpart. But the Rivers state Governor, Chief Amaechi was alleged to have said that he sold the aircraft to the Cross River State government at the cost of $9m.
The commissioner for information and orientation, Patrick Ugbe said in a press statement made available to our correspondent yesterday that attention of the government was drawn to another report in a National Daily, (Not LEADERSHIP), credited to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio that Cross
River state was being paid N600m monthly from Akwa Ibom State’s share of the derivation fund by the Federal Government as compensation for the loss of her oil wells.
“Without joining issues with our sister State, we are however amazed at the deliberate mis-information of the public. Cross River State has never earned N600m or any amount in any month from Akwa Ibom State. The N600m may have been the assumptions of the Governor. Probably, the Governor may have mistaken the N600m which Akwa Ibom State used to earn when they were a non-derivation State because of the on-shore/off-shore dichotomy, as a compensation for environmental degradation, and rather attributed it to Cross River State”.
He explained that the state governor had repeatedly said, ‘‘since the loss of our oil wells to Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State receives only 50 per cent (half) of what is due to Cross River State as compensation for the loss of the wells, for the burden of Bakassi, and environmental degradation, and that amount varies from month to month, depending on the total amount available for sharing in each month at the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
‘‘Furthermore, Cross River State was never paid in arrears. The State has only been receiving the money for the past 8 months. Cross River State has lost over N20b since the loss of the oil wells. All this N20b has been accredited to Akwa Ibom State.
We however recall that when Akwa Ibom State was earning money for environmental degradation, Cross River State was an oil producing State, through oil production by Addax and Moni Pulo. Ironically today, even those oil wells have been attributed to Akwa Ibom State (both on-shore/off-shore) purportedly making Cross River State a non – oil producing State. We do not want to comment further, since the matter is before the Supreme Court and is therefore sub-judicial’’.