[From INI BILLIE, Uyo]
Akwa Ibom Government has urged its citizens not to panic over the 70 per cent reduction in the state’s revenue following the force majeure announced by ExxonMobil.
Speaking on Monday in Uyo, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong confirmed the force majeure, saying the reduction would be economically challenging for the state.
Ememobong however said the state had been through an economic doom before in 2016, but surmounted it through the efforts of the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
He assured that the state would overcome the present economic challenge occasioned by the reduction and called on the people to continue to support the government.
“The truth as admitted by ExxonMobil is that in December 2020, they declared a force majeure due to a fire incident on one of their platforms. It is common knowledge that our country depends almost solely on crude oil and any slight disruption in production will consequentially affect the country’s earnings, which will in turn reduce the volume of revenue available in the distributable pool, from where states draw their statutory allocation from.
“The processes of production declaration through to financial remittance to the federation account and subsequent allocation takes an unabridged period of 90 days, which clearly explains why a force majeure declared in December, 2020 can reflect and become an issue in March 2021.
“The implication of this reduction in revenue obviously indicates that an economic challenge is enroute, but there is certainly nothing to worry.
“We have as a state been through an economic doom before in 2016, but divine Providence, through our Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, helped the state to weather the storm and we made it through. Despite the impending challenge, the factors that worked for us in the past have not changed and will sure work for us again.
“Our people are therefore invited to continue to offer their support to the government in varied ways, trusting that God who was our help in ages past, will remain our present refuge and our future hope,” he stated.