Text of the Press Conference organised by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom Branch on the refund of the arrears of the deducted 13% Derivation Funds to the Government of Akwa Ibom State by the Federal Government held on Wednesday, 30th November, 2022, at the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Image House, Information Drive, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Protocol,
Gentlemen of the Press,
We welcome you to this Press Conference organised by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom Branch on the controversy surrounding the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the Government of Akwa Ibom State by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
 
For the record, the CLO is a foremost internationally recognised human rights cum good governance advocacy organisation in Nigeria. We are non-partisan and non-political pro-democracy group that fought for the enthronement and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. Ours is to hold public office holders accountable to the people and ensure probity, transparency, and accountability in government.
 
You would recall that when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifted the ban on political campaigns in the country for the 2023 general elections, the CLO had issued an advisory to politicians in Akwa Ibom State not to heat up the polity but to go about their electioneering campaigns in a responsible and decorous manner restraining themselves from the use of hate speech and campaign of calumny, which are capable of hampering the course of governance, peace and security in the State.
 
We wish to reiterate our earlier advisory to politicians in Akwa Ibom State that they should not allow their political ambitions to becloud their reasoning or tend them towards creating unease or tension in the State.
 
CLO is disturbed by the tension that the issue of 13% Derivation Fund arrears refund is being used to create. Particularly worrisome is the resort by certain politicians to heat up the polity with incendiary and inciting statements.
 
CLO commends the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the government and people of the State, and all the security agencies in the State for the sustenance of peace, which has earned Akwa Ibom State the enviable status of the most peaceful State in Nigeria in the past seven and a half years to the glory of God.
 
CLO observes with dismay that some politicians in the State are attempting to make political capital out of the statement credited to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on the 13% Derivation Funds arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government through deliberate misinformation and misrepresentation of the fact in issue in a manner that is capable of fuelling unrest and derailing the course of governance, peace and security in the State.
 
CLO, however, considers the tension and the furore surrounding the issue of 13% Derivation Fund refund as unnecessary and distracting.
 
CLO cautions against any situation that can lead to a re-enactment of the 2011 pre/post electoral violence recorded in the State in which several lives were lost and properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira were destroyed.
 
CLO’s independent investigation into the issue has revealed that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the account of the Government of Akwa Ibom State started in 2021.
 
CLO notes that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government was captured in the 2021 Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State and in the 2021 approved revised Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State.
 
CLO also notes that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government was captured in the 2022 Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State and in the 2022 approved revised Appropriation Law of Akwa Ibom State.
 
CLO can confirm that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government is reflected in the 2023 Appropriation Bill of Akwa Ibom State currently under consideration by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
 
CLO’s findings further revealed that the 13% Derivation Fund arrears refunded to the State by the Federal Government was captured as one of the sources of revenue accruable to the account of the Government of Akwa Ibom State in the Accountant General’s Audited Report for 2021 and will be captured in the Accountant General’s Audited Report for 2022.
 
For the avoidance of doubt, CLO places much premium on transparency and accountability. Hence, in line with her avowed commitment to hold political office holders and government accountable to the people, the CLO embarked on project tracking of the three (3) Senators, ten (10) Federal House of Representatives Members and twenty-six (26) State House of Assembly Members. So far, CLO has toured constituency projects of some of the Lawmakers, and the exercise is ongoing. At the end of the exercise, CLO will be able to appraise the performance of the State and Federal Lawmakers.
 
CLO also embarked on a three-month (March to June, 2022) tracking of projects executed and/or facilitated by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel from its inception in 2015 to the present year, 2022.
 
The CLO team visited and inspected projects cutting across Works, Health, Aviation, Environment, Education, Agriculture and Industry.
 
CLO had firsthand information on projects executed and/or facilitated by the administration. In summary, more than 50 road projects were inspected and found to be either completed or at various stages of completion.
 
On Industry, the CLO team visited the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company, Kings Flour Mill, Metering Solutions Company, St. Gabriel Coconut Refinery, Lion Plywood Company, Rice Mill, the Plastic Making Factory, Tissue Making Factory, the Mimshac Automobile Manufacturing Plant and 21-Storey Dakkada Towers.
 
On Aviation, the CLO team visited the New International Terminal Building and the Maintain, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facility at the Victor Attah International Airport and Ibom Air.
 
On Environment, the CLO team visited the IBB Flood Control Project, Etim Umana Erosion control project, St. Luke’s Anua Erosion control project, Ikpa Road Erosion control project, Uyo Village Road Erosion control 1, Uyo Village Road Erosion control 2, Calabar-Itu Road Erosion control 1, and Calabar-Itu Road Erosion control 2.
 
On Power Sector, the CLO team observed that about 85 percent of the 2,274 gazetted villages in the State has been connected to the national grid attesting to the State government’s huge investment in the power sector, which is critical to economic activities of the people of the State.
 
On Health Sector, the CLO team visited the rehabilitated general hospitals in Etinan, Iquita-Oron, Ikot Okoro, ONNA, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Ituk Mbang and Ikot Abasi.
 
On Education, the CLO team visited a cross section of public schools across the State.
 
On Works, the CLO team toured the following road projects:
 
1) Dualisation of 20km Uyo – Etinan Road in Uyo/Etinan LGAs;
 
2) Ikot Oku Ikono Flyover in Uyo LGA;
 
3) Etinan Roundabout in Etinan LGA;
 
4) Dualisation of 9.5km Ring Road III Cutting across Aka Road– Oron Road – Nwaniba Road with 3 Nos Roundabouts in Uyo/Ibesikpo LGAs;
 
5) Dualisation of 29km Etinan – Ndon Eyo Road with 2 Nos. Bridges and spur from Mbioto Ekpene – Ituen – Ikot Akpan Ishiet Junction in Etinan/ONNA LGAs;
 
6) 14.1Km Odoro Ikpe – Ikpe Ikot Nton – Obotime – Arochukwu with 110m span Bridge through APFA in Ini;
 
7) Dualisation of 23.4km Eket – Etiinan Road with 3 Nos. Bridges in Etinan/Eket LGAs;
 
8) Construction of 19.317km Anua –Mbak – Ishiet Road in Uyo/Uruan LGAs;
 
9) Construction of 18.97km Abak 10 – Ibiakpan – Abiakpo Otoro – Manta Road with spur in Abak in Abak LGA;
 
10) Dualisation of 19.5km Eket – Ibeno Road with 4 Nos. Bridges in Eket/Ibeno LGAs;
 
11) Dualisation of 25km Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road in Uyo, Itu, Ibiono Ibom, Ikono, Abak, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene LGAs;
 
12) Construction of 18.95km Ikot Ibotor – Ekeffe – Ikot Akpan Afaha Road with 1 No. Bridge in Oruk Anam/ Ukanafun LGAs;
 
13) Dualisation of 6.4km Nto Edino – Ekwere Azu Road with 2 Nos. 45m span Bridges in Obot Akara LGA;
 
14) Construction of 12.742km Awa Iman – Asong – Ikot Edim – Ikot Emem Road with 2 Nos. Bridges in ONNA Local Govt. Area in ONNA/Mkpat Enin LGAs;
 
15) Construction of 19km Etebi Enwang Road with 2 Nos. Bridges in Mbo Local Govt. Area in Mbo LGA;
 
16) Construction of 10.8km Awa – Nkana Road and 2.3km Ancillary Roads in Awa Village, Onna Local Govt. Area in ONNA LGA;
 
17) Construction of 9.5km Ikot Ebekpo – Ikot Ebidang Road with Jetty in ONNA LGA;
 
18) Construction of 5.1km Internal Roads in Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa in Oruk Anam LGA;
 
19) Construction/Remodelling of Selected Roads, Strategic Roundabouts/Junctions in Eket Metropolis (Phases I and II) in Eket LGA;
 
20) Construction of 5km Ikot Usop – Ikot Edeghe – Ikot Ekpuk Road with a 30m Span Bridge in Mkpat Enin Local Govt. Area in Ikot Abasi/Mkpat Enin LGAs;
 
21) Construction of 4.6km School of Arts and Science Road, Nung Ukim Ikono in Ikono LGA;
 
22) Construction of Abak Nsekhe – Ikot Akpa Nkuk – Ikot Etim – Ikot Ikara Road Phase III (Section A Ikot Ikara to Ikot Ibritam) in Oruk Anam Local Govt. Area in Oruk Anam LGA;
 
23) Construction of 9.0km Mbiaya Uruan – Ita – Ikpa – Mbiakong Uruan Road with 60m Span Bridge in Uruan Local Govt. Area in Uruan LGA;
 
24) Construction of 8.5km Nduetong Oku – Ibiaku Uruan – Ekritam Road with 40m Span Bridge and Spur in Itu/Uruan Local Govt. Area in Itu/Uruan LGAs;
 
25) Construction of 4.2km Abak Ifia – Ikpe Mbak Eyop – Ikot Abia Osom – Nko Road and Spurs in Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara L.G.A. in Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara LGAs;
 
26) Construction of 16.5km Secretariat Road – Ulliong – Edikor-Uduetta – Eyoabasi Road with spur in Udung Uko Local Govt. Area in Udung Uko LGA;
 
27) Construction of 16.5km Secretariat Road – Ulliong – Edikor-Uduetta – Eyoabasi Road with spur in Udung Uko Local Govt. Area in Udung Uko LGA;
 
28) Construction of 6.4km Utu Ikot Ekpo – Ika Road (Phase 1) in Etim Ekpo L.G.A. in Etim Ekpo LGA;
 
29) Construction of 6.0km Nung Atai – Ebighi Etta-Ataobong Market Road, Okobo Local Govt. Area in Okobo LGA;
 
30) Construction of 5.04km Ikot Akata – Ikot Akpa Ekop – Ntan Ide Ekpe – Ikot Edem Udo Road with 60m span Bridge in Mkpat Enin/ONNA LGAs;
 
31) Construction of 8.5km Okoroete – Elile – Amadaka – Kamkpa Road in Eastern Obolo Local Govt. Area in Eastern Obolo LGA;
 
32) Construction of 15km Ikot Akpan Afaha – Ikot Oku Osung Road with 2No. spurs in Ukanafun Local Govt. Area Ukanafun LGA;
 
33) Construction of 6.1km Atan Offot Road in Uyo LGA;
 
34) Construction of 1.5km Road/Outfall Drain from Nsikak Eduok Avenue – Tropicana Complex in Uyo LGA;
 
35) Construction of 10.8km Awa – Nkana Road and 2.3km Ancilliary Roads in Awa Village, Onna Local Govt. Area in ONNA LGA;
 
36) Construction of 6.4km Idiaba – Nda Nsit – Ikot Abasi Road in Nsit Atai Local Govt. Area in Nsit Atai LGA;
 
37) Dualisation of 3.5km Ring Road II in Uyo LGA;
 
38) Construction of 15.1km Ndon Eyo – Ikot Akpatek – Odio Road ONNA/Eket LGAs;
 
39) Construction of 18.95km Ikot Ibritam – Ekeffe – Ikot Akpan Afaha Road with I No. Bridge Oruk Anam/Ukanafun LGAs;
 
40) Construction of 4.0km Mbiatok – Ekritam – Mbiaya Uruan Road with Spurs in Itu/Uruan Local Govt. Area in Itu/Uruan LGAs;
 
41) Construction of 13.5km Ikot Ebiere – Ikot Edor – Ikot Iko Ibon – Okom Road & Ukpana – Akpabom – Ikwe Road in Onna and Mkpat Enin Local Govt. Area in ONNA/Mkpat Enin LGAs;
 
42) Dualisation of 14.5km Uyo/Airport Junction – Okopedi Road Phase I in Nsit Atai/Okobo LGAs;
 
43) Construction of 5.0km Internal Roads in Ewet Housing Estate Extension, Uyo in Uyo LGA;
 
44) Construction of 13.6km Ikot Obio Offong – Nung Ukana – (Spur I to Ikot Obio Odongo) – Abaukpo – (Spur II to Afaha Ikot Owop) –Obio Etok – Obontong –Enen Nsit – Afaha Udo Eyo – Afaha Offiong Road in Ibesikpo Asutan/Nsit Ibom LGAs;
 
45) Construction of 12.15km Enen Nsit –Obotong – Ikot Enwene – Edebom –Oboetuk – Ikot Obok – MbiKom – Mbo Atai – Oboyo Ikot Ita in Nssit Ibom and Ikot Akpa Edu – Ikot Iko – Ikot Akpan Abia Road with 30m Span Bridge in Ibesikpo Asutan LGA;
 
46) Construction of 10.519km Mkpat Enin-Iko Ubo – Ikot Ntot – Nkikara Road in Mkpat Enin/Ikot Abasi LGAs;
 
47) Construction of 6.475km Road in Amanyam Community/Comprehensive Health Centre in Ikot Ekpene LGA;
 
48) Construction of 4.59km Ekparakwa – Ntak Ibesit Road in Oruk Anam LGA;
 
49) Construction of 4.94km Ibesit Okpokoro – Ikot Ibritam Road in Oruk Anam;
 
50) Construction of 9.76km Ancilliary Road with 60m Span Bridge in Nsit Ubium Local Govt. Area in Nsit Ubium LGA;
 
51) Emergency works in the completion of Oron Urban (6.3km) L.G.A. (Additional Works) Phase II in Oron LGA;
 
52) Construction of 1.05km Information Drive, Uyo in Uyo LGA;
 
53) Construction of 5.0km Mkpok Okat Road in Ona Local Govt. Area in ONNA LGA;
 
54) Construction of 13.13km Akpambiet Edo-Edida Edo Ebeekpe Road, Ndon Edim – Idung Akpantuen with Spur and Rehabilitation of 1.7m Uquo Isi Edoho – Edo Road in Esit Eket Local Govt. Area in Esit Eket LGA; and
 
55) Construction of 60m Span Nto Ide-Ikot Amba Bridge with 800m Approach Road in Obot Akara LGA.
 
The detailed Report of CLO’s project tracking of the present administration was presented to Akwa Ibom people in a well-attended public forum organised by the CLO at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Information Drive, Uyo. The Report, presented on Tuesday, 28th June, 2022, is in the public domain and can be accessed on social media and other Internet platforms, including Google via the link below: https://radarpapers.ng/2022/06/28/clo-rates-gov-udom-emmanuel-high-in-project-delivery-peace-security/
 
CLO applauds Governor Udom Emmanuel for embarking on these lofty and life-touching projects in the State. CLO calls on Akwa Ibom people to take ownership of these projects, encourage and support the government to complete all ongoing projects for the benefit of the communities where these projects are located and for the overall interest of the people of Akwa Ibom State.
 
Once again, CLO advises all the 2023 political office seekers and their supporters to play by the democratic tenets enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Laws; to campaign with decorum, propagate their manifestoes to the electorate, and to abhor acts and omissions capable of breaching the peace and security of Akwa Ibom State.
 
Signed:
Civil Liberties Organisation
 
Otuekong Franklyn Isong
(State Chairman)
 
Comrade (Barr.) Christopher Ekpo
(State Secretary)

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