Oil export earnings drop, as Federation Accounts share N614billion in March

Nigeria’s oil exports in March witnessed a slight decline as earnings decreased by about N45.28billion as a result of operational and safety issues experienced in Bonga, Brass, Bonny and Qua Iboe oil terminals during the month.
Revenue estimates expected as oil earning for the month at the country current export capacity fell from about N631.96billion recorded in February to about N586.63billion during the month.  
The marginal drop in revenue into the Federation Account however hardly impacted the share the three tiers of government took home at the end of the Federation accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting held in Abuja on Friday.
FAAC Chairman and Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, said at the end of the meeting that a total of N613.69billion was distributed from statutory distribution, including earnings from Value Added Tax (VAT) sources during the month.
Details of the distribution included the N7.617 billion refund by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the account, being the fourth tranche of the payment as part of the controversial N450billion outstanding indebtedness illegally withheld from its operations since 2007.
According to Mr. Ngama, a breakdown of the revenue of the Federation Account and the distributions to the tiers of government showed that there was no provision for augmentation for the month since revenue accruals overshot the budgeted provisions of the budget.
Rather, the minister disclosed that about N3.6 billion was paid into the savings account before the distributions were made.
 “The gross revenue of N726.772 billion received for the month was lower than the N766.772 billion received in the previous month by N40billion,” the Minister explained. “This was due to a decrease in crude oil export for the month as a result of several operational issues and safety challenges experienced in the Bonga, Brass, Bonny and Qua Iboe oil terminals during the month.”
The distributable statutory revenue for the month was N497.731 billion, which shows an increase of N95.540 billion, or 23.77 per cent when compared to that of February 2012.
“The total revenue distributable for the month (including VAT) is N613.697 billion,” the minister said. “This shows a decrease of N7.041 billion, or 1.3 per cent when compared to the amount distributed in February 2012.There was exchange gain of N48.820 billion being the difference between the average prevailing exchange rate and the approved budgeted rate accumulated in 2011, which is also distributed.”
Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had penultimate week canvassed the need for stricter fiscal discipline in the management of the nation’s revenue earnings, especially revenjues from crude oil exports, considering that the global economy depression that saw significant decline in reveneu earnings as a result of a sharp drop in oil prices from a high of N147 per barrel to less than N38 in 2009.

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