An intensive meeting between states’ governors and Minister of finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has averted Federation Allocation Account Committee ( FAAC) logjam induced by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) alleged withholding of a portion of Federation fund.
With the truce brokered by Minister of finance, the governors gave a directive to their respective states’ finance Commissioners to accept FAAC revenue sum of N647.390 billion for the month of February, with a commitment to engage authority at NNPC on reconciliation.
Briefing the media yesterday of the outcome of reconvened FAAC meeting after Tuesday’s stalemate, Chairman of FAAC, and Minister of finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said she personally engaged states’ governors in meeting previous night ( Tuesday) to find a way around the stalemate.
” The figure for this month is higher than last month. There are issues that we would take up with NNPC but those issues notwithstanding, we should go ahead and conclude the meeting. We would sit down with GMD of NNPC or its representatives, we would hopefully sit down within next 48 hours to thrash out subsisting issues”
The Minister explained that notwithstanding issues surrounding the account, the welfare of staff is Paramount, more so with Easter a few days away.
The Minister said: ” NNPC is a major chain of our revenue and by that fact, there would be from time to time issues. We are going to sit with NNPC. Accounting is a process, there has to be dialogue. Some of the issues that were raised have actually been cleared but of course , there are new issues that arise. I think that is part reconciliation, accountability and transparency. We did that overnight, speaking to the governors and we took a decision to go ahead and still of the view that there are issues and I’m sure within the next 48 hours I would meet with NNPC GMD or his representatives”.
” I think this is a healthy process. Questions must be asked, that is what accountability is all about. We would get to the bottom of the issue so that we can move forward. I think its a healthy development. I’m confident we would resolve all the outstanding issues”, said the Minister.
In his response, the Chairman of Commissioners of finance forum, Mallam Mahmoud Yunusa said the states’ oil firm- NNPC deliberately sidelined other stakeholders in a business that belongs to all.
” We have agreed last night to hold the meeting as it were, move on to our respective states and pay the salary so that everybody will celebrate the Easter. Be that as it may, the account as submitted by NNPC is still not acceptable to us. We will sit down with NNPC to ensure all the grew areas are trashed out. What we expected from NNPC is less than what was submitted. We the commissioners of state are not happy the way NNPC is running this business. We are major shareholders in this business but yet we are not happy with the way NNPC is handling it”.
” We won’t take this anymore. NNPC will have to sit up and do its job. We are not taking this anymore. We would not come here, spend days without holding the meeting. So in the spirit of Easter, we would take this account, go home with it; pay salary and come back to meet NNPC to pay us our balance. We have o find out wherever the error is”, said chairman, finance Commissioners ‘ forum.
Meanwhile, the three tires of government comprising the federal government, states and Local government shared for February, a total revenue of N647.390 billion The sum approved by FAAC included Value Added Tax( VAT). The February Allocation was higher compared to the previous amount of N635.554 billion
Reading the statement of FAAC account, the Accountant General of the Federation( AGF) Alh. Ahmed Idris said put the gross statutory revenue for the month at N557.943 billion, Value Added Tax revenue( VAT) of N89.447 billion as against N96.646 billion previous figure.
Of the net statutory distribution, federal government got highest share N257.927 billion, states N130.824 billion while 774 local government councils received N100.860 billion. Oil producing States shared N57.357 billion as their 13 % derivation principle.
” The statutory revenue of N557.943 billion received for the Month was higher than the N538.908 billion received in the previous month by N19.035 billion. Increase in crude oil export by 2.8 million barrels and increase in average crude oil price from $57.71 to $63.08 per barrel resulted in increased revenue from export sale for the Federation by $194.39 million. However, production still suffered shut- ins and shut- downs at various terminals for repairs and remittance”, said AGF.