Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigerian Government, States, Councils Share N675.7 Billion for November

After days of uncertainty about its meeting on November revenue, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, finally met late on Thursday night to share a total of N675.7 billion as statutory revenue allocation for the month.

The meeting, originally scheduled for Monday this week was later rescheduled for Tuesday.

However, members of the committee, consisting representatives of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were disappointed on arrival that the meeting would not hold as rescheduled; until Thursday.

Yet, on Thursday the meeting was again delayed for several hours, as some representatives of the Commissioners for Finance and Accountants-General led by the Chairman, Finance Commissioners' Forum, Timothy Odaah, met with the Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, behind closed doors, in an attempt to iron out issues that fueled the fears of members.

Following reports of massive diversion of oil revenue and allegation of declining revenue accruals in the Federation Account in recent times, there were fears about insufficient revenue to meet the monthly allocation obligations.

However, at the end of the closed-door meeting, which lasted for over an hour, the fears heightened, as neither Mr. Ngama nor Mr. Odaah agreed to brief anxious reporters on what transpired, apart from an indication that both parties had resolved to continue the meeting later in the day.

The FAAC meeting, which reconvened at about 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, went on for several hours till about 11 p.m. when Mr. Ngama, who is also the Chairman of FAAC, briefed reporters on the outcome of the meeting.

In his remarks, Mr. Ngama said total revenue available for distribution among the three tiers of government, including the value added tax, VAT, collection of N91.730billion, was N675.7billion.

The minister said gross revenue receipt for the month stood at about N597.75billion, which was higher than the budgeted figure of N465.057billion by N25.708billion, and more than N443.052billion allocation for October by N58.199 billion or 47.7 per cent.

Other details of the allocation also showed that mineral revenue was N490.765 billion, while about N56.998 billion was transferred to the Excess Crude revenue, Petroleum Profit Tax, PPT, and Oil Royalty account.

Also included in the allocation for distribution was NNPC's refund of N7.617 billion, and N35.549 billion proposed for distribution under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

The minister denied that the Federal Government was having difficulties meeting its revenue obligations contrary to several allegations to that effect in recent times, though he acknowledged challenges associated with declining revenue.

He said part of agenda for deliberations during the meeting was how the states would strengthen their sources of internally generated revenue to make up for the declining allocation from oil.

The minister gave the balance in the Excess Crude Account, ECA, as $3.18 billion (about N497.02 billion) in the dollar denominated account, and N85billion in the Naira denominated account.

The distribution of the allocations showed that the Federal Government received N252,239 billion, or 52.68 per cent , while the 36 states of the federation got about N127.929billion, or 26.72 per cent, and local government councils, N98.635 billion, or 20.69 per cent. The nine oil producing states were jointly allocated a total of N56.390 billion as oil derivation revenue.

In addition, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, received N2.586 billion, or 4 per cent as cost of collection, while the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, got N2.904 billion, or 7 per cent, for a similar service.

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