Akwa Ibom govt. allays fears over 70% revenue drop

  The Akwa Ibom government has said apprehension over 70 per cent drop in its revenue due to the force majeure declared by ExxonMobil would not impact the economy of the state negatively.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ExxonMobil suffered a fire incident on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 on one of its platforms, which led to disruption in its production capacity thereby forcing the oil giant to declare a force majeure.

Mr Ini Ememobong, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, made the clarification in a statement to newsmen in Uyo on Monday.

He admitted that the force majeure declared by ExxonMobil in December had affected the revenue allocation of the state.

Ememobong, however, assured that the Gov. Udom Emmanuel administration was capable of weathering the economic storm while delivering his agenda for the people of the state.

“The truth as admitted by ExxonMobil is that they declared a force majeure due to a fire incident on one of their platforms in December 2020.

“It is common knowledge that our country depends almost solely on crude oil and any slight disruption in production will affect the country’s earnings,” said Ememobong.

According to him, this will in turn reduce the volume of revenue available in the distributable pool, from where states draw their statutory allocations.

“The implication of this reduction in revenue obviously indicates that an economic challenge is en-route, but there is certainly nothing to worry about.

“We have as a state been through an economic doom before in 2016, but divine providence, through our Gov. Emmanuel helped the state to weather the storm.

“Despite the impending challenge, the factors that worked for us in the past have not changed and will sure work for us again.

“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,” he said.

He explained that unfortunately, some persons and groups had capitalised on the incident to cast aspersions on the government and feed the people with falsehood just to score cheap political points.

Ememobong urged indigenes of the state to continue to support the current administration as the temporary setback would soon be over.

“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,” Ememobong said.