Nigerian government, states, councils share N620bn in May

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Mr. Ngama addressed reporters after the council meeting.

The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) reconvened late on Wednesday night to disburse N156 billion to settle the February outstanding arrears to the three tiers of government. This comes barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan intervened in the week-long crisis over unpaid arrears of revenue allocation to the 36 states and Abuja.

At the end of the meeting, which followed a resolution arrived at last Tuesday between the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the presidential committee set up by the president to resolve the crisis, a total of about N620.656 billion was shared for the month of May.

The committee also agreed to pay N92 billion augmentation for May in July, pointing out that settling all the huge liabilities for February at a go could deplete the savings in the excess crude revenue account.

The Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, told reporters at the end of the meeting that total revenues from minerals and non-minerals sources for the month stood at about N590.777 billion, representing a shortfall of about N30.090 billion from the budgeted figure for the month.

According to the minister, the total statutory revenue distribution stood at about N577.490 billion; Value Added Tax, N74.873 billion; Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, N35.549 billion; and N7.617 billion being the refund for the withheld N450 billion revenue by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

From the statutory distributions, details of the disbursement of the fund showed that the Federal Government got N235.778 billion or 52.68 per cent, compared to states’ allocation of N119.590 billion or 26.72 per cent, and local governments’ N92.199 billion.

In addition, the sum of N59.152 billion was shared by the oil producing states based on the 13 per cent principle of derivation.

From the VAT accruals, the Federal Government got N10.782 billion, representing 15 per cent, while the 36 states took N35.939 billion, or 50 per cent of the VAT distributions. The local governments shared the balance of N25.157 billion, representing 35 per cent of the months collections.

Mr. Ngama, however, said the challenges of production and lifting operations in the upstream sub-sector of the oil and gas sector experienced in the previous month persisted in the month under review.

The Chairman of the States Finance Commissioners Forum, Timothy Odaah, confirmed that the meeting was peaceful, saying that fiscal realities within the economy requires that prudent management of resources at all levels of government has become more imperative in order to ensure growth.

At the previous meeting, which ended abruptly with a walk out against Mr. Ngama, Mr. Odaah, who led the protest, had vowed that members would not return to the meeting until all issues have been resolved. To resolve the crisis, the Federal Government had constituted a four-man committee headed by Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, to wade into the matter and proffer ways to resolve them.

Other members of the committee included Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta; Peter Obi of Anambra and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe states as well as Mr. Ngama; the Accountant General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla; Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Bright Okogu; Mr. Ngama; and Ms. Okonjo-Iweala.

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