The states remain adamant; reject the allocation meant for September.
The Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Jonas Otunla, said on Monday that the Federal Government has made available the sum of N548.393 billion as the statutory revenue for the three tiers of government for September.
A statement by the AGF’s Deputy Director of Press, Charles Nwodo, said the amount was an improvement over the figure of N497.984 billion made available at the Federation Accounts Allocation (FAAC) meeting in August.
Mr. Nwodo said the impasse over the outstanding N75 billion expected from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would soon be resolved, as efforts were being made to settle the issues.
“The OAGF said FAAC has received assurances from NNPC that the issue is being dealt with dispatch and that a positive outcome is expected soon,” he said. “Government is exploring all avenues to end the shortfalls in revenue caused by oil theft and vandalism as soon as possible.
But, in a swift reaction to the purported disbursement of funds by the AGF, the Chairman of the Forum of Commissioners of Finance, Anthony Odaah, described the action as a sham since the FAAC did not meet to approve such disbursements. The state finance commissioners had earlier abandoned a meeting with M. Otunla.
Mr. Odaah pointed out that the position of the state governments was that the payment of the N336 billion backlog due to states and local governments be settled first before further disbursements were approved.
Describing the action by the AGF as ‘ultra vires’, Mr. Odaah said it contradicted the provisions of the law setting up the FAAC, since there was no meeting where the purported release of September revenues was agreed upon by representatives of the states.
He noted that in addition to the N336 billion, there were other under-payments to the states and local governments, which would be taken up at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting by the state governors very soon.
“The OAGF is just trying to salvage a very bad situation, and that is what the Minister of State likes to do whenever there is a crisis. Remember, this was what happened when we staged a walkout from the meeting a few months ago,” he said.
“We have not received any money, because the meeting where such disbursement would have been approved did not hold. So, what they are doing is not known to law. It is contrary to the provisions of the FAAC 1992.
“Our position remains unchanged. Let them pay the backlog of arrears after which we will meet to discuss on other issues on the Federation Accounts”, Mr. Odaah said.
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