Following Tuesday’s inconclusive meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), necessitating the intervention of the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, she has summoned an emergency meeting next week with the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru.
The meeting with the GMD and his key management, according to a statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser, Media & Publicity to the Hon. Minister of Finance
on Tuesday, is over revenue payment into the Federation Account.
Ahead of that crucial meeting, Mrs. Adeosun, who is also chairman of the FAAC, has reconvened the meeting of the committee for Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 9:00am.
The emergency FAAC meeting slated for the auditorium of the Federal Ministry of Finance will be attended by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Commissioners of Finance and Accountant-Generals of the 36 States of the federation. Also expected are representatives of the NNPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service and Department of Petroleum Resources, among others.
A sign of trouble became noticeable as the 36 State Finance Commissioners staged a walk out of Tuesday’s FAAC alleging “NNPC’s dubious disclosure and fraudulent posture over the subsidy payment.”
This, according to Dr. Suleiman Abubakar, Executive Director of Coalition for Probity and Integrity in Civil Service (CPICS), a civil rights organisation, told newsmen: “Kachikwu and Baru admitted that the cost differential of N26 per litre is being paid by government as subsidy without stating who authorised the payment.”
The subsidy payment without appropriation by the National Assembly is already the subject of a probe by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
“The investigative hearing held on January 4 and even then the chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, curiously removed probe of the alleged subsidy payment from the agenda. After going through the report on the hearing, as submitted by the Marafa-led committee, the senators discovered that the report was silent on the alleged illegal subsidy payment.
“As we speak, the FAAC meeting experienced another stalemate because the State Commissioners of Finance rejected and walked out of the meeting arising from discrepancies in the sharing of federally collected revenue among the three tiers of government occasioned by NNPC’s dubious disclosure and fraudulent posture over the subsidy payment.”
Specifically, the FAAC meeting was inconclusive, following discrepancies in revenue amounting to about N37.76bn presented by the NNPC, a situation that Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation told newsmen was due to the insistence of the commissioners to reconcile and verify the figures before distribution.
“Let me again be quick to inform Nigerians that we are sensitive with the issue and to the fact that state governments may find it difficult without this money.
“But we have to follow the constitution and the laws for distribution of revenue,’’ he said.
Also, the Chairman, Forum of FAAC Commissioner, Mahmoud Yunusa, said the forum rejected the amount presented by the NNPC because it was far lower than what was projected for the month.
“We started this meeting last week and NNPC did not submit their figures until yesterday (Monday), which we were not able to review until this morning.
“This morning when we were reviewing the figures as presented by the NNPC, it came as a great surprise to see that the amount was less than N100 billion.
“So we (states) decided that we will not collect the amount (N74.06bn reported as oil revenue generated for the month of February for sharing in March, down from prior month’s N111.84bn) presented.
“We are contesting the figures because pipeline vandalism has reduced, while crude oil prices have continued to go up.
“On this note, we are wondering why the nation cannot raise enough money through that sector to share to states so that everyone can pay workers, contractors and so on.
“We are well aware that this development may affect the payment of salaries in states, but we cannot hurriedly accept this money and then later cry foul play.
“So, we should all be patient. But we hope that with this latest development, NNPC will do the needful as soon as possible,’’ he said.