FAAC Meeting Deadlock: Adeosun Seeks Intervention Of Buhari, Osinbajo

Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday said she has sought the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo towards resolving the impasse that greeted the month’s meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The meeting again ended in a deadlock over what was described as the unacceptable figures proposed for sharing by the three-tiers of government by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Adeosun who also briefed members of the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Osinbajo and attended by governors of the 36 states, as well as Federal Ministers, said the figures put forward by the corporation fell lower than expected.
When such happens, she noted, “the owners of the business, which in this case is the Federal Government and States, need to act. So, that was what caused the deadlocked yesterday (on Wednesday, June 27, 2018), and we really felt the figures that the NNPC proposed for FAAC were unacceptable.”
Specifically, the Minister noted that some of the costs the NNPC said it incurred within the period were justifiable, following which “we have decided that rather than approve the accounts, we will go back and do further work.”
Already, the continued, “further negotiations and interactions are going on with the NNPC as we speak. However, we did brief both Mr. President and Mr. Vice President on the deadlock and asked for their support and their forbearance in this because of the consequence which is that workers’ salaries might well be delayed in many States as a result of this.
“In order to get the accurate figures, that we need, we have asked for forbearance and the State Governors and the Federal Government are all in agreement that we need to get to the bottom of these figures.”
More importantly, Adeosun noted the need for the Federal Government to save aggressively in the Excess Crude Account for the rainy day at a time price of bonny light crude oil variant is about $78 per barrel.
“So, we are very very conscious that this period, this window of relatively high oil price might not last and we would like to be able to save. If we cannot get into the Federation Account the sort of revenues we are expecting then we will not be able to save.
“So, it was a very important point really underscored by all the Governors and they really want action taken and they are fully in support of the positions of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Commissioners of Finance not to approve the accounts until we get further explanations on some of the cost being implemented.
According to her, the NNPC’s figures were rejected because, “based on oil price, oil quantity you can pretty much calculate what you are expecting to see in the Federation Account and if the figure is less, then the right question that any stakeholder must ask is why?
“So, we have been going back and forth with NNPC to try and understand these figures before we can accept them. Remember that the FAAC figures have to be formally accepted by the Federation Account Allocation Committee and we were simply not comfortable with the quantum of some of the deductions made and therefore we could not approve those figures. As we speak, there is an interface going on between the Commissioners of Finance Forum, Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General, Central Bank of Nigeria and the NNPC. We hope to be able to convene FAAC within next few days.”
A statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser, Media & Communications to Adeosun, also put the balances in the excess crude proceeds account at $1.916bn; while Stabilization Account and Natural Resources Account stood at N18.892bn and N133.715bn respectively.