Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three tiers of Nigerian government to share over $1bn from ECA- NEC

Published:

Central Bank of Nigeria

The FG, States, and LGs will share between $1 billion and $2 billion in the next two weeks.

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday approved disbursement of additional $1 billion (N158 billion) from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to the three tiers of government.

Governor Godwills Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the monthly NEC meeting in Abuja, said the amount would be disbursed to the beneficiaries in April.

Earlier in the year, the three tiers of government withdrew and shared one billion dollars from the same account, leaving a balance of $7.82 billion from a balance of nine billion dollars left in the account.

Mr. Akpabio, however, said that the $1 billion to be shared in April would facilitate the execution of various development projects by the different tiers of government in the country.

“We were briefed that as at March this year we have a total of about $7.8 billion dollars in the Excess Crude Account. The amount would have been more than that based on the fact that we had shared $1 billion dollars earlier in the year,” Mr. Akpabio said.

“So, we expect that by the end of the month and probably by April, the amount would have increased significantly.

“And then, efforts would also be made to cushion the effect of cash crunch of the state and local governments by sharing of about between one and two billion dollars by next two weeks, I think that was the agreement, between one and two billion dollars,” he added.

Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said the Council approved the recommendations of the Dankwambo-led sub-committee, which reviewed a recent presentation by the Minister of Communication Technology, Omobolaji Johnson, on the proposed broadband road map for the country.

Mr. Dankwambo said the recommendations were meant to provide the requisite stimulus for accelerated ICT infrastructure roll-out across the country.

He said the committee’s recommendations included the removal of identified impediments such as multiple levies, charges and illegal taxes, harmonisation of right of way processes and administration between the states and the Federal Ministry of Works’ guidelines for granting of such.

Mr. Dankwambo listed offer of additional commitment to host communities and states with respect to right of way granted by operators and the implementation of standardised fees payable in respect of agreed list of levies and charges as among other recommendations.

 

He said the minister had given insights as to the “effect that telecoms service providers should partner with the federal and state governments to ensure proper harmonisation and integration of development projects with ICT infrastructure in the country.”

On multiple taxation, Mr. Dankwambo said that the council considered a report on the review of multiple taxation across the federation and its effects on the Nigerian economy.

“The key recommendations include: review and amendment of the Taxes and Levies, outlawing of the use of unorthodox means to collect taxes and levies; Automation of tax operations by relevant tax authorities to eliminate leakages and ensure ease of collection

“Tax authorities to respect the provisions of the law on the use of consultants for tax assessment and collection and lastly Tax authorities to publish the approved list of taxes and levies within the states and local governments to educate the public and facilitate compliance.”

He said the Council had also adopted the recommendations and mandated the National Planning Commission to liaise with the proposed committee to work out a blueprint for implementation.

(NAN)

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