The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has explained that the dwindling revenue to state governments from federation account is not in any way political, but is sequel to the reduction in revenue accruable to the federal government.
She declared that despite the shortfall, the federal government had distributed monies from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to state governments and paid salaries of workers, adding that it was unreasonable to read political meanings to allocation of federal resources.
The minister disclosed this to newsmen at the first convocation and award of honourary doctorate degrees of Oduduwa University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
While reacting to a question that delay in the allocation of federal allocation to state governments had political undertones, the minister, who stormed the venue of the convocation in company of her husband, Prof. Ikemba Iweala, said the claim was “absolutely not true.”
According to her, “There is no politics in it. Every state goes to 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, (yet) we distribute whatever that is to distribute. From that, we have been able to manage this country and workers have been able to collect their salaries.”
Okonjo-Iweala, who bagged honourary Doctor of Science in Accounting of the university, also commiserated with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and family of Prof. Festus Iyayi over the death of the don. She, however, called on ASUU to sheathe their sword and call off their four-month-old strike in the interest of students, parents and the nation in general.
“We are indeed saddened by the death of Prof. Festus Iyayi and appeal to ASUU (the lecturers) to go back to school in the interest of students, their parents, because the Federal Government has acceded to their requests.”
She attributed her achievements in life to the help of divine Providence, adding that it was God that made them possible and not her efforts.
While speaking, the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who also bagged a honourary Doctorate degree in Economics, emphasised the need for Nigerians to support the federal government and contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the country, disclosing that the economy would continue to grow should all play their expected roles.
The President and Chairman, governing council of the university, Dr. Rahmon Adegoke Adedoyin, expressed his appreciation to the Chancellor of the university, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, for donating hundreds of acres of land to the university, noting that since the school started in 2009 it had grown in leaps and bounds.
A hundred and sixty-six students graduated from the university with 18 first class honour, while 63 had second class upper and 82 second lower honour. Three students, however, graduated with third class honour degrees.