No going back on demand for fuel subsidy removal – FAAC

Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Federal, States, Local Government share N634.72 billion for April

The 36 States’ Commissioners of Finance and Accountants General on Thursday reaffirmed their resolve to continue their demand on the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy from the country’s petroleum products pricing template.

The officials said during the meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC in Abuja that they were not bothered that the Federal Government was yet to respond to their demand.

The Chairman of the FAAC Commissioners’ Forum, Timothy Odaah, said it was left for Nigerians to take up the battle from there, as they were convinced the management of the fuel subsidy regime currently was benefiting a few rich persons than the poor.

“An average patriotic Nigerian would support the removal of fuel subsidy. It is no more an issue before FAAC, because we have done our bid. Subsidy removal is very important because it an exercise that benefits the rich more than the poor,” Mr. Odaah said.

“If fuel subsidy is removed, each state would be able to distribute its own share according to its capacity. It would create a much more transparent way of disbursement.”

He said FAAC was not relying on the Nigerian Labour Congress or other unions to fight for subsidy removal because the labour leaders were depending on the petroleum marketers for survival.

Meanwhile, the FAAC at the end of its meeting announced that total revenue of about N634.72 billion, including the value added tax, VAT, of N65.426 billion was shared between the three tiers of government for April.

The Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Jonah Otunla, said the gross revenue of N584.15 billion received for the month was lower than the N614.359 billion received in March by about N30.207 billion.

He attributed the reduction in oil revenue for the month to incessant production shut-ins at the Qua Iboe, Yoho, Forcados and Bonny oil terminals as well as repairs on Brass terminal due to oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Apart from a distributable statutory revenue of N533.546 billion, the AGF said about N35.549 billion was proposed for distribution under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

From the available distributable revenue, the federal government was allocated N249.06 billion or 52.68 per cent; 36 state governments, about N126.327 billion or 26.72 per cent; 774 local governments, N97.392 billion or 20.62 per cent; while N55.162 billion went to the oil producing states as 13 per cent derivation.

Mr. Odaah appealed to the different local, state, and the federal governments to ensure that all hands were on deck to boost their internally generated revenue capacity to make up for the dwindling revenue level.

“With dwindling revenue allocations, they should prioritize their projects and other expenditures, particularly by working hard to practice budget shelving by ensuring that some of the items already listed in the budget were set aside and focused on those ones that would touch lives and give the people much more development,” he said.

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