The rescheduled meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) on Thursday again ended in a deadlock, resulting in the meeting being suspended indefinitely.
On Tuesday, the meeting, which was rescheduled after the initial June 27 meeting ended in a stalemate, was also put off after members failed to reconcile the records with the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
It was the second time the meeting would end in confusion since June 27 when the initial schedule for the month without members agreeing to share the revenue brought for distribution by the NNPC.
But, the meeting on Thursday was the shortest in the series, as it lasted barely half an hour.
At the end, Chairman of Commissioners Forum of FAAC, Mahmood Yunusa, told reporters the meeting was postponed indefinitely and would only be reconvened after “the process is strengthened.”
“The next meeting is a function of when we finish the process,” Mr Yunusa said. “What we are looking for is for the process to be strengthened. Once the process is strengthened, there is no need for this fight.”
The commissioner said the decision of the 36 state governments and other members of FAAC to reject the NNPC’s paltry remittances “is about the system and the process we are working on.
“Once the process is strengthened, the correct amount is supposed to go to federal revenue account.”
He said the practice of NNPC withholding revenues that should be remitted to the FAAC for distribution to the three tiers of government was being reviewed at the highest level of government.
“Mr President will sit down with all parties. He is highly interested in this matter. He is taking his time to ensure the right thing is done,” Mr Yunusa said.
He assured that when the process of remitting revenue proceeds to the Federation Account has been strengthened, “even if the amount remitted is small, members cannot challenge the NNPC. So, we are also helping NNPC from undue pressure.”
On the fate of civil servants across the country, who have gone for weeks without June salary, Mr Yunusa said all the state governments and other FAAC members opposed to NNPC appreciate the difficulties people are facing.
“But, we plead for understanding. This is a sacrifice all of us must make to get out of this problems of NNPC under-remittance. If the process is operated the way it is supposed to, nobody will complain again,” he said.
On June 27, the FAAC meeting for June ended without any resolution as members rejected the amount remitted by NNPC for distribution.
Members of the committee, consisting Commissioners for Finance and Accountants General from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, had accused the NNPC of not remitting enough revenue for sharing.
The following day, the NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES said the N147 billion revenue remitted to FAAC for sharing to the three tiers of government in June was “in line with the terms of agreement it had with governors on the matter.”
Mr Ughamadu said the agreement NNPC had with the governors was for the corporation to make a monthly remittance of N112 billion only to FAAC.
He said the remittance was subject to sufficient funds from its sales of domestic crude oil allocation for the corresponding month after meeting certain operational obligations.
The spokesperson said the NNPC was able to surpass the terms of agreement with the governors on the monthly remittance for the month of June by about N35 billion.
Since then, the committee has been meeting with the top management of the NNPC, finance ministry officials, Accountant General of the Federation and representatives of the commissioners of finance to reconcile the accounts.
However, on three occasions, the meetings failed to come to any agreement on what should be the correct figure as the controversy continues.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...