The All Progressives’ Congress (APC) has challenged the Federal Government to account for the huge budgetary allocation it receives monthly from the Federation Account, in view of its poor record of development.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said while the Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is right in asking Nigerians to challenge their state governors to account for their monthly allocations, such challenge should not be limited to the state governments alone.
”Yes, Nigerians should seek accountability from their state governments, but it is important to note that the biggest challenge should be directed at the Federal Government, because it takes the biggest chunk of the monthly budgetary allocations.
”While all the 36 states together collect only 26.72% and all the 774 local governments collect a total 20.6%,the Federal Government alone takes 52.68%, hence it bears the greatest responsibility to Nigerians in terms of the provision of social amenities, creation of jobs and infrastructural development
”Since education, agriculture and health, for example, fall under the concurrent list, Nigerians must – in addition to challenging their state governments – ask the Federal Government what it has done with its huge chunk of federal allocations, against the background of massive unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure and the poor health facilities that have seen public officials, including the President, scurrying to foreign hospitals for medical treatment,” it said.
APC said there is no doubt that whatever achievements the Jonathan-led Federal Government has attributed to itself since assuming office have constituted a mere tokenism compared with the quantum of funds that have accrued to it.
”It is therefore imperative that he who must come to equity must come with clean hands, and that those who point a finger at others must realize that four others are pointing at them. It is not just enough to say certain states have received certain allocations, Nigerians also want to know how much the Federal Government has received in total to date and what it has done with it.
”The Federal Government must lead the way in ensuring accountability for the funds from the Federation Account, just as local and state governments have a responsibility for accountability,” the party said, warning against using such allocations as an instrument of blackmail by a non-performing Federal Government.