– The FAAC meeting for the statutory allocation to the three tiers of the Nigerian government ended in a deadlock on Tuesday, March 27, but this has been resolved
– Members of the committee were reportedly earlier not comfortable with an underpayment of N37 billion by the NNPC
– At the reconvened meeting, N647.39 billion was shared among all the tiers of government
The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) finally ended the crisis that rocked its meeting on Tuesday, March 27, as it finally disbursement a total of N647.39 billion to the central, state and local governments in the country.
The success of the meeting, according to reports, was because of the intervention of the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, who reconvened it on Wednesday, March 28.
The meeting held at the headquarters of the finance ministry and was presided over by Adeosun.
The Punch reported that out of this amount, the federal government received N270.8 billion, states got N173.75 billion and the 774 local government councils were allocated a total amount of N130.9 billion.
The report said the committee further allocated the sum of N57.35 billion to the oil-producing states based on the 13 percent derivation principle while N14.55 billion was returned to the revenue generating agencies as coat of revenue collection.
The meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), which was convened on Tuesday, March 27, to consider and approve statutory allocations between the three tiers of government for February, 2017 ended in deadlock, The Punch has reported
It was learnt that the committee could not approve the allocation to the federal, state and local governments as a result of what was claimed as discrepancies in revenue figures presented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Presided over by the finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, the other members of the committee are the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Alhaji Ahmed Idris; commissioners for finance from the 36 states; representatives of revenue-generating agencies, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the NNPC, among others.
According to Idris, the committee came to the decision to postpone the meeting after it discovered that the revenue remitted by the NNPC into the federation account was understated.
Idris, who spoke with journalists after the meeting, revealed that submissions made at the meeting by the members of FAAC resulted in the decision to postpone the meeting pending the reconciliation of the revenue figure.
“Let me be quick to tell you that the meeting was inconclusive because issues around reconciliation of figures are on the table.
“Obviously, you are all aware that anything that has to do with the federation revenue is statutory and therefore constitutional.
“And we must always verify our figures to the last kobo, failing which we will be committing illegality and unconstitutionality.
“It is on that note that we observed some issues in the figures given by one of the major revenue-generating agencies, namely the NNPC.
“And the committee is of the opinion that until and unless these figures are reconciled, corrected, verified and are factual, we cannot distribute the revenue as the case is,” he said adding that the revenue would not be distributed until all outstanding issues were resolved.
“Let me be quick to inform Nigerians that we are sensitive to the issues but again, we have to follow the constitution and the necessary laws for the distribution of revenue and it is on this note that I inform you that the meeting has not been concluded.
“We will look at the revenue figures as submitted by the NNPC and reconcile such figures, and upon the conclusion of the reconciliation of that figure, we will share the revenue accordingly.
“We have to explain this to Nigerians, bearing in mind that as civil servants, workers in the federal, state and local governments deserve to have their salaries and all other commitments of the government.
“It’s not about the quantum of amount that is being distributed; it’s about reconciliation. In finance and accounting, when you hear reconciliation, it means figures don’t tally as presented by different sections and once figures do not agree, they must be made to agree.
“Unless we get to the bottom of it, have clarity and some level of certainty, we remain where we are.
“As soon as possible; as we leave here, we are going to embark on the exercise because we feel time is of the essence. We must meet our responsibilities to the Nigerian workers,” he added.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Forum of FAAC Commissioners (FFC), Mahmoud Yunusa, said that the amount in contention was about N100bn.
“We started this meeting last week and the NNPC did not submit their figures until yesterday (Monday), which we were not able to review until this morning.
“This morning when we were reviewing the figures as presented by the NNPC, it came as a great surprise to see that the amount was less than N100bn. So, we decided that we will not accept the figure presented, that we will contest it.
“And we are contesting the figure because pipeline vandalism has reduced, while crude oil prices have continued to go up. So, we are wondering why the nation cannot raise enough money through that sector to share to states so that everyone can pay workers, contractors and so on,” he said.
The report quoted a document as showing: “A total sum of N74,067,185,437.92 was collected in the month of February, 2018, this shows a negative variance of N1,939,889,304.24 or 2.55 percent below the approved monthly budget for 2017.
“Compared to the collection of N111,835,458,519.12 in January, 2018, this sum (N74,067,185,437.92), the February collection was lower by N37,769,273,081.20 or 33 per cent.
“We were unable to meet the approved budget as a result of low collection from concession rentals and PSC (Product Sharing Contract) and royalty.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the federal government, through the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), has disclosed that it recovered more than N143. 89 billion from corrupt officials through the implementation of the whistle blower policy.