President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to intervene in the crisis caused by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over its inability to remit revenues accruable for sharing to the three tiers of government in the month of May. A meeting of the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), last week Wednesday, was deadlock as a result of overdeductions and insufficient remittances by the NNPC.
The deadlock was the third time since January 2018. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, after a meeting with Governors Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said President Buhari will take the next step. Adeosun had, last week, explained that if the issues that led to the deadlock of the meeting were not resolved, salaries might be affected in the states.
The committee members of FAAC had also expressed reservations with some of the costs presented by the NNPC, saying they could not be justified, hence the decision not to approve the accounts. Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Adeosun said:
“Well, as you know, last FAAC meeting ended in deadlock and since then, we have been having series of engagements between ourselves, the governors,the ommissioners and of course the various stakeholders.
“Today’s meeting was for me to brief the governors and the chief of staff and, by extension, Mr. President on the progress we have made so far on our position. “Mr. President has promised to take the next step and to that extent we are very satisfied.” Asked why the issue with the NNPC has remained problematic and if they are not in the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Adeosun said: “They are; every agency of government is in the TSA.
You know FAAC is unique; FAAC is a meeting where all the revenue generating agencies make returns on net of their expenses. “It is in the area of where we have disputes; the dispute is not on the gross revenue, but on what has been deducted from that gross revenue giving us the net which is being brought into the FAAC.
“But I think this is a healthy process. We must be satisfied with figures before we sign of on them. We must, as stakeholders, make sure all our agencies are aligned with all the programmes of government in terms of getting this economy really moving. “We are still very much dependent on oil; on NNPC for our revenue.
So, I see them more as reconciliations than standoffs. I’m very sure we will have the FAAC in the next day or so.” Yari, on his part, expressed happiness that President Buhari has decided to step in to resolve the issues. According to him, “There is headway because Mr. President and the Minister of Finance will meet with the NNPC official so that we can resolve the problem with the federal allocation accounts committee.” Meanwhile, Yari, Badaru and Bagudu had earlier met separately with President Buhari.
The three governors, elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were led by the President’s Chief of Staff. The APC governors’ meeting held a day after the ruling party became factionalized.
No official reason was given for the meeting between Buhari and the APC governors. But Yari, who is also chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), said he was worried by what is happening within the party.