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FAAC Deadlock Persists As Govs Insist on ‘no sharing’

Governors of the 36 states of the federation insisted, Wednesday night, that the deadlock at the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee, FAAC, meetings will continue until the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, remits what is due to government coffers. The governors  also said the NNPC cannot continue to spend money meant  for the Federation Account without the approval of the President and the National Economic Council, NEC.

 

The NNPC had remitted N147 billion into the federation account in May but the governors faulted that amount, saying it did not reflect the current economic realities and prices of oil in the international market.  They also queried the amount the NNPC said it paid for petroleum subsidies. The governors, who met in Abuja, said their final decision on the issues would be presented at yesterday’s National Economic Council, NEC, presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

However, the issue was not even on the agenda of the NEC meeting, which said the $1 billion security fund to fight Boko Haram in the North East and other acts of criminality across the country was yet to be disbursed. The allocations of May and June are yet to be distributed among the three tiers of government, following rejection of  NNPC’s remittances. When FAAC meeting held on June 27, representatives of the 36 states rejected the NNPC remittance for that month.

 

Again, when the meeting reconvened last week, the state commissioners for finance insisted that a permanent solution must be explored to resolve the recurring issue around NNPC’s remittances to the federation account. Briefing journalists on the outcome of  the governors’ meeting  Wednesday night, Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the governors still disagreed with the figures presented by the NNPC.
 

Yari said: “There is a disagreement between the figures presented. I have been on the saddle for seven years and I have been attending NEC for the past four months and if I see discrepancies, I should be able to tell,” he said. According to him, the agreement NNPC claims to have with state governors to remit a maximum of  N112 billion per month was done when oil price was $48 per barrel per day but now the price is $78.

 

Governor Yari said further:  “NNPC said it paid N88 billion for subsidy and in the month of June, it said it paid N31 billion but it claimed N57 billion is for payment of subsidy in 2017. That is not acceptable and we won’t give the approval. “You can’t just dip your hand into the public purse and take money, you have to seek approval from NEC or Mr. President.  NNPC said they have N15 billion for miscellaneous, N9 billion for pipeline maintenance, N3 billion for crude loss; all those things were not approved by anyone. 

 

"NNPC is owned by the federal, states and local governments. The states  and local governments get 48 per cent, while the  federal government gets 52 per cent. We have to agree whatever we get, the Federal Government is getting 52 per cent. We are saying this money should be brought to the public for sharing.” 

 

Meanwhile, NEC met at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday, with Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, saying the $1 billion approved by National Economic Council, NEC, in December last year to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, to boost the fight against insurgency by the military is yet to be released. NEC equally backed the recommendation for the setting up of Federal Project Coordinating Unit on flood prevention, mitigation and preparedness programme, while also resolving to take action to decongest the prisons, including the 2,359 condemned convicts nationwide.

 

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