Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, yesterday, decried what he described as injustice meted on the state by the Federal Government in terms of revenue allocation over the years. Ayade lamented the unfair treatment when he received the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed, who led members of the commission on a courtesy call on the governor in Calabar.
He said given deliberate decisions by the Federal Government and her agencies over the years, the people of the state “feel like captives in a place they call their own.”
Ayade said the loss of 76 oil wells by the state was a direct consequence of the ceding of Bakassi by the Federal Government and that rather than find a permanent solution to the fiscal challenges that arose from that action, the Federal Government has inflicted incalculable pain on the people.
“You took our land, took our oil wells, took us out of 13 per cent derivation fund and reduced us to a weeping child in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The pain is incalculable.
We are a captured people by the Federal Government. We have no say because it does not matter. We practice ethnocracy and so it does not matter how the people of Bakassi and Cross River as a whole are in pains.
“Today, we have NDDC, whose projects are based on percentage of oil production. So, look at what we have lost from the perspective of NDDC which keeps us as a crying child who is just in NDDC by geography not by production as the sharing formula here is by quantum of oil production coupled with the fact that today also , we no longer benefit from the 13 percent derivation.”
“If not for President Buhari, I am sure that even the superhighway and Bakassi Deep Seaport (being developed by the state) would have been killed by now. But how can a people feel like captives in a place they call their own?”
According to him: “Federal Government created a permanent injury and sought a temporary solution. So, there is a permanent loss of oil well and temporary allocation of revenue. How does that work?”