The governors of the 36 states of the federation, or their representatives, were on Wednesday locked in a crucial meeting with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) top management to attempt to patch up the crisis that aborted the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for March.
Earlier in the day, Chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum of FAAC, Yunusa Mahmoud, told reporters the meeting of the committee scheduled to share the revenue for March had been cancelled.
Mr Mahmood, who is also the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Finance, said the cancellation of the meeting followed some “challenges” linked to poor revenue returns remitted by the NNPC.
“The meeting cannot hold because we have some challenges,” Mr Mahmood said. “The revenue figures we got for the month is far less than what we expected to be remitted by the NNPC.”
He expressed disappointment that the committee, made up of representatives of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, would again be made to end it’s meeting without members’ share of the revenue for the second month running.
Last month, the meeting ended in a stalemate, as the committee opted not to share the amount remitted to the purse by the NNPC.
The committee refused to approve the statutory allocations for the month following alleged discrepancies discovered in revenue figures presented by the NNPC.
Hours after the inconclusive meeting, the finance minister, who is also Chairman of FAAC, Kemi Adeosun, convened an emergency reconciliation meeting the following day to attempt to resolve the confusion.
The meeting, however, ended with a plea for the committee to agree to share the N647.39 billion that was available after an engagement with the state governors, to allow for the reconciliation of the over N100billion difference.
Since that meeting which involved the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, PREMIUM TIMES learnt similar meetings have been held with top management of the NNPC without much positive outcome.
There are no immediate indication when Wednesday’s cancelled FAAC meeting would be rescheduled.
But, the anxiety in the states have reached boiling point, as most of them are said to be unsure where the money for their workers salaries for the month is going come from.
A top presidency source close to the venue of the high level meeting between the governors and top officials of the NNPC at the Presidential Villa said the agenda centred on how to raise enough revenue to bail out the situation.
“This is a very high level deliberation. Everyone understands what is at stake. Our expectation is that something good will come out of it. NNPC is duty bound to carry FAAC members along in its business. Anything short of transparency in its account rendition will always elicit questions,” Mr Mahmood said.
“There are processes in doing things. Some level of transparency is expected. When NNPC picks its figures, it should expect the figures it submit to be looked at and deliberated upon and ask questions if need be,” he noted.
The NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, did not answer several calls to his telephone on Wednesday night when this reporter sought to get his comment for this story. He equally did not respond to a text message sent to him on the same issue.
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