Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, has rebuked the presidential adviser on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang over his recent outbursts on the federal allocations to the state.
The speaker said at a political rally in the state that the former senator's claims were not only false but also misleading. He said the politician was merely raising a false alarm to score some cheap political points.
“The report of the Accountant General with Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2015 is a reply to the claim of unpublished financial statement. When we conclude with this exercise and by the time we come out with our own vetted version for 2016, we are going to have this document equally published for the 2016 account.
“This document contains what the government did with the monies that government received in the year 2015 and we are here to consider what government did with the money that was appropriated to government for the year 2016”, he said.
The speaker said that while he was not speaking on behalf of the state executive, he considered it pertinent to “speak on behalf of the state legislature which vetted the 2015 account of the state and, based on what we found, unanimously made further approvals.
“By the time we get to 2018, we will equally come to consider the account of 2017 and we are going to get it published. The content of the Accountant General Financial Statement answers to the query about the findings. I speak because we gave our stamp of authority to the audit report and that is why it is published. It was published in national dailies. Also, the publication of the audited account of the state was one of the conditions for the state to access the budget support fund of the federal government. The content of this document include the auditor general's certificate.
“We have statement of accounting policies, and we have a ten-year financial summary from 2006 to 2015. We have cash flow statement for 2015; we have statement of asset and liabilities of the state government 2015, and we have statement of consolidated revenue fund for the year 2015. We equally have statement of capital development fund for the year 2015. This is a public document and it answers to every query about what funds were being used for.
“We have made it known here at the house of assembly that there is nowhere we will consider any budget under the 6th assembly without looking at the financial statement of the previous year. We thank God that government has deemed it fit to give us this financial statement which we are very ready to give urgent assessment because we know that any time from now, the governor might come in to present the 2018 budget.
“The basis for us to consider that budget will be the financial statement of 2016. If the people do not have immediate access to a commissioner or a head of department explaining the budget, they can come here during budget defence to ask questions concerning monies that we appropriated to each ministry and agencies of government for the fiscal year 2017. The people have enough opportunity to educate themselves on what is being done with the finances of the state.”
Last week, Enang had circulated a publication in the state, in which he claimed that the state government was not making maximum use of the allocation accruing to the state from the federal government.
Circulating the tabulated revenue earnings for Akwa Ibom at Uyo township stadium a copy of which was made available to TNN, Enang accused the governor, Udom Emmanuel of misrepresenting President Buhari before Akwa Ibom people.
Enang further decried poor infrastructure in the state and advised Akwa Ibom people to vote APC in the forth-coming local government elections.
In his remark, managing director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Obong Nsima Ekere, who received the national chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun said APC remains the next option to replace what he described as political gangsters, financial recklessness, state vampires, and unhealthy cabal that have rendered the state incapacitated in the face of abundant resources.
In a chat with TNN, a chieftain of Peoples' Democratic Party and chairman of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district of PDP, Pastor Cletus Essiet said the rented crowd of APC would not help them in the coming council poll and warned all APC members to refrain from raising false alarm against the governor ,as their anti-corruption crusade was selective.