The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said the reduction in oil production and receipts caused the shortfall in the federal allocation to the other tiers of government.
The minister debunked the claim that politics was behind the dwindling allocations to the states.
She attributed the reduction in revenue accruable to the Federal Government to the falling revenue from oil.
Addressing reporters at the weekend at the first convocation of the Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Osun State, where 166
students graduated, the minister explained that despite the shortfall, the Federal Government distributed funds from the Excess Crude Account to states and paid the salaries of its workers.
Okonjo-Iweala, who got a honorary Doctor of Science in Accounting, said: “The claim that there is politics in the distribution of federal allocation is not true. The states go to the Federal Allocation Committee meeting monthly; they see the account and know that oil production is down and the receipts are down. They know Customs’ revenues are down. But we still distribute whatever is to be distributed. From that, we have been able to manage this country and workers have been able to collect their salaries.”
In company of her husband, Prof. Ikemba Iweala, a surgeon, the minister commiserated with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the family of the late Prof. Festus Iyayi.
Okonjo-Iweala urged the ASUU leadership to consider ending its strike in the interest of stakeholders, particularly the students.
She said the Federal Government had acceded to most of the striking lecturers’ demands.
Also, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who got a honorary Doctorate in Economics, stressed the need for quality education in the country.adeso