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Senate President Akpabio Retracts N30b Palliative Remark, Apologises to Governors

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APC PDP Akpabio
The 10th Senate President, Godswill Akpabio

The Senate President of the 10th Assembly, Godswill Akpabio, has tendered an apology to state governors over the N30 billion palliative funds he said had been released to them to ease the economic hardship in Nigeria.

In a meeting in Abuja on Monday with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), the Senate leader apologised after meeting with the NGF Chairman, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the Governor of Kwara State and other state governors.

Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30 billion each from the federation account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.

The statement has caused controversies in the public space, with citizens demanding the 36 state governors come clean about the never-received money.

Following the unfound claims/and or remarks, the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, also the Vice-Chairman of the NGF, dismissed the claim as false.

He argued, “The states cannot directly receive funds from the FIRS, as all revenues are channelled into the federation account shared among the tiers of government.”

However, the Senate President, through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, stating Akpabio held the governors in high esteem.

Akpabio’s Apology

The statement reads:

During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

Furthermore, he expressed that “The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”

Eyiboh added that Akpabio has consistently demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less. He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

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