Vanguard (Lagos)

29 January 2013

Nigeria: Crude Account - Governors to Seek Final Resolution From Supreme Court

Abuja — The Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) says it will seek a final constitutional interpretation of all matters relating to the Excess Crude Account controversy between the federal and state governments.

The forum's Chairman and Governor of Rivers, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the body would seek "a final resolution from the Supreme Court" on all matters relating to the controversy.

Amaechi said this was because the NGF had been dissatisfied with the "present attitude of the Federal Government on the Excess Crude Account".

The governor who read to newsmen the communiqué at the end of the governors' first meeting in the New Year said the forum had taken a firm stand on the issue.

"The NGF therefore resolved to take no further adjournments in the subsisting case in court over the issue," he said.

The forum at its meeting of Sept. 20, 2012, had resolved to challenge federal government's deductions from the excess crude account.

The deductions had been used to offset the cost of the fuel subsidy.

The two parties had since then been in court over the matter, even though the litigation had been plagued with frequent adjournments since it was first listed for mention.

Amaechi said the 36 state governors who form the forum's membership remained resolute in ensuring the development of their states for the benefit of the nation and its citizens.

He added that the forum had also agreed to hold a two-day retreat on a date yet to be fixed to deliberate on the current state of the country's security.

The Rivers governor also said the forum had resolved to institute a monthly polio campaign to be headed by state governors.

"This is to promote routine immunisation and healthy environment across the states of the federation," he said.

Amaechi added that the forum resolved that governors from states not affected by the polio scourge would support their counterparts in the affected states.

"They will do this by joining in the national campaign against the scourge," he said.

The governors, according to Amaechi, would also meet with the presidential task force on polio eradication to identify funding gaps and challenges against the scourge's eradication in the country.

He however pointed out that the forum was not forming itself into an opposition against the federal government.

"The forum is only concerned about the unity and progress of the nation and its citizens," the NGF chairman said.

NAN reports that the meeting, which was held at the Rivers State Governor's Lodge in the Abuja, was attended by, among others, the governors of Rivers, Ekiti, Ogun and Imo.

Others at the meeting included governors of Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Anambra, Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, Jigawa, Delta, Ondo, Abia, Kogi and Oyo states.

The forum is an umbrella body of the 36 elected governors of the federation.

NAN

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