…As Forum Asks Okonjo-Iweala To Account For $20b Excess Crude Money
By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has announced the emergence of Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari as its new Chairman.
This is even as it called on the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to explain how the sum of $20 billion accruable into the excess crude account sine 2013 was spent.
Rivers State Governor and immediate past Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, announced in a communiqué Tuesday after its four hours meeting at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
According to Amaechi, the forum demanded for detailed explanations on how the sum was accrued and disbursed within the period in focus.
He said the fact that funds in the Excess Crude Account were last disbursed in May 2013, there was need for the Minister in charge to provide explanations for accruals to this account from June 2013 to April 2015 which was estimated at “over $20 billion”.
The communiqué confirmed that the Governors’ Forum has reconciled and reconstituted into one single association of the 36 state Governors of Nigeria, irrespective of the region.
The Forum congratulated the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari over his election, while it saluted President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting defeat.
Speaking further on the meeting, Amaechi, disclosed that the Forum resolved to establish “Governors’ Forum Academy to be called NGF Leadership Academy, adding that an induction Programme is being organized for the new and returning Governors scheduled to hold in June 2015.
The induction is “aimed at equipping new and returning Governors with the knowledge of global best practices in establishing and running their offices.”
The NGF Leadership Academy, according to Amaechi, would be responsible for capacity building for governors and other officials.
Governor Yari, who was Amaechi’s deputy in the NGF, emerged Chairman by consensus and would serve one year tenure expected to end in May 2016 when his second term as governor would have ended.
The NGF had been engulfed in crisis since last year when the election that produced Governor Amaechi was not accepted by 16 of its members who then formed a parallel body headed by Governor of Plateau, Mr. Jonah Jang.
The Tuesday meeting was attended by Governors of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Zamfara, Borno, Benue, Oyo, Bauchi, Kwara, Delta, Edo, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Osun, deputy governors of Nasarawa, Kogi, Imo and deputy governor who is also governor–elect of Kano.