- Femi Falana has told governors to demand the return of billions missing from the federation accounts
- Falana said some of the accruals do not even go into the federation account
- The senior lawyer urged the governors to take interest in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG)
A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has charged Nigerian governors to fight for their fair share of the accruals to the federation account and demand a true federal system of government for the good of the citizens.
Premium Times reports that Falana was the guest speaker at a lecture on Thursday, February 27, to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Rotimi Akeredolu administration, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Legit.ng gathered that he centered his lecture on the failure of state governments to demand “their share of what is due to them of what should go into the federation account,” noting that some of the accruals do not even go into the account.
“I have therefore decided, on this occasion, to challenge our state governments to mobilise our people, I am challenging Governor Akeredolu in particular, who is the only senior advocate of Nigeria in the Nigerian Governors Forum, I am asking him to lead a battle, a legal battle against the overconcentration of power in Abuja,” he said.
Speaking on the topic, 'The Nigerian federalism imbroglio: A pragmatic approach’, Falana said although the constitution provides that Nigeria shall be a federal republic, the political elites ruling the country had preferred to retain the distorted version of the constitution bequeathed by the military government.
He said in looking for money to govern Nigeria, governors must take more than a passing interest in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
According to him, the NLNG, within 10 years, successfully paid about $15billion to the federation account through the NNPC, but the money did not get to the federation account.
He urged the governors to ask serious questions about the money.
“NEITI, a government agency, has come up with a figure that the NNPC has failed to remit to the federation account – $22 billion and N480 billion. We must get the money, sirs,” Falana said.
He argued that the federal government controls 52% of the federal revenue, while the states and local governments are only able to collect 48% of the revenue, noting that the arrangement was unfair to states.
Falana said besides the federation account, there are other accounts that the governors should pay attention to, on how they are being managed.
“There are certain accounts belonging to the people of Nigeria. One of them is the foreign reserves account; another one is the Sovereign Wealth Account.
“It has just been discovered that the federal government has yanked off N1.5trilion from that account. The governors must have that money brought back to that account,” he said.
He recalled Akeredolu’s efforts in the legal battle to ensure governors could no longer be removed from office by some legislators, illegally.
He cited Ladoja’s case, a case that went to the Supreme Court, where the judgment was given against his impeachment.
Falana urged Akeredolu, along with other governors, to initiate legal battles to demand fairness in the federal system practised in Nigeria.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari,, said it is lamentable that electricity has become a luxury to citizens of the country.
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