Despite recent concerns by Nigerians about the refusal of top officials of key government agencies to avail citizens information on the country’s revenues, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee appears to have adopted fresh approaches to denying the public details of the monthly accruals to the Federation Accounts from various revenue streams.
The FAAC, which has the Federal Minister of State for Finance as chairman, has the commissioners for finance and accountants general of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory as members.
Others include representatives of all key Federal agencies in charge of revenue collection, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Department of Petroleum Resources, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Nigerian Customs Service and Central Bank of Nigeria.
Apart from the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, who is the Secretary, two other persons, including the Accountant-General of the Federation, are also appointed by the President to the committee.
Section 4(3) of the FAAC Act says the function of the committee shall be “to meet monthly and allocate accruals from the Federation Account amongst the three tiers of government and review all matters relating to the Federation Accounts and its operations.”
By implication, the law mandates the committee to avail itself with all information pertaining to all accruals in the Federation Accounts pool from all available direct mineral and non-mineral revenue streams for the month prior to allocation according to approved sharing formula stipulated in the constitution.
However, indications are that although details about the accruals to the Federation Accounts are usually available to FAAC, the veil of secrecy imposed by its secretariat has always denied the public the benefit of the information in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
At the June 2015 edition of the FAAC meeting held on Friday in Abuja, the newly appointed AGF, Ahmed Idris, and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Anastasia Daniel-Nwokobia, shielded vital information on government revenues from the public, as they failed to divulge details of sources of revenue distributed for the month.
Although, following demands by reporters, Mrs. Daniel-Nwokobia promised to provide details of total revenue accruals for the month, officials of the FAAC secretariat bluntly refused to release the information.
After much pressure, a one-page unsigned summary of revenue allocations to the three tiers of government was made available to reporters.
But it was bereft of the vital details and analysis of the various revenue sources and transfers made for the month.
While briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting, Mrs. Daniel-Nwokobia had said total statutory revenue generated for the month of June, which was available for distribution, was N467.79 billion, out of which seven per cent cost of collection (N3.129bn) went to NCS; four per cent (N6.123bn)to FIRS, and another four per cent (N2.528 bn) to DPR
According to her, there was a refund of N6.330bn by the NNPC to the Federal Government, with net statutory allocation of N449.685 billion, which was distributed as follows: N218.928 billion (Federal Government); N111.043 billion (states); N85.610 billion (Local Governments), and N34.104 billion (derivation).
In addition, she said value added tax (VAT) generated for the month stood at N64.992 billion, while N6.685 billion was realised from exchange rate gain, bringing the grand total revenue available for distribution for the month to N518.542billion.
The balance in the excess crude account for the month was given as $2.207 billion.
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