by Tola Akinmutimi and Olufemi Adeosun
The Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, yesterday adopted the recommendations of its ad hoc committee which recommended the outright stoppage of provisions for fuel subsidy in the Federation Account with immediate effect.
Confirming the decision of the FAAC, the Chairman of the States Finance Commissioners’ Forum, Mr. Timothy Odaah, said that with the adoption of the recommendations, it now implied that fuel subsidy deductions would not be provided for in the Federation Account. He spoke during a media chat on decisions taken at its meeting.
Odaah explained that the states would now be paid directly whatever was due them from the account and that they could now be using the accruals to subsidise the needs of their people.
He said the decision was informed by the fact that experiences about the fuel subsidy regime over the years showed that rather than benefitting the masses, the payments had largely been enjoyed by individuals who were involved in the management of the funds.
Meanwhile, the three tiers of government shared a total sum of N641.380bn in March being statutory and other allocations from the Federation Account.
A communiqué issued at the end of the Federation Account Allocation Committee’s, FAAC’s, meeting which ended at about 8.30pm indicated that the gross revenue that accrued to the government in the month stood at N614.358bn. The amount was lower than the N666.745bn received in the preceding month.
A breakdown of the shared amount showed that the Federal Government got N249.084bn from Statutory Distributions compared with the States and Local Governments’ N126.339bn and N97.402bn respectively.
The oil producing states got additional N57.270bn being the 13 per cent derivation earned from minerals revenue from the Oil and Gas sector operations.
In addition, the tiers of government also shared N60.775bn earned from Value Added Tax (VAT) collections. The Federal Government received N9.116bn being the 15 per cent of the distributions while the States got N30.388bn or 50 per cent compared with Local Governments’ N21.271bn.
Other components of the shared amounts reflected that the N7.617bn refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, was shared by the State and Local Governments. The SURE-P Programme fund totalling N35.549 billion was also distributed.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Accountant- General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, attributed the decline in revenue earnings to primarily production shut-in
“At Qua Iboe Terminal and shut down of Forcados, also oil theft and some repair works on pipeline leaks at Bonny and Brass Terminals.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, yesterday stated that the commission had recovered about N4.3bn from suspects involved in the fuel subsidy scam.
According to a statement from the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Lamorde disclosed this in Abuja at a meeting with the management of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Farouk Ahmed.
The EFCC boss said the collaboration between the two agencies was pivotal to the commission’s instituting court cases against 13 oil marketers indicted in the investigations in the subsidy regime.
He called for a sustained partnership between the agencies in order to sanitise the petroleum industry, adding that such collaboration was imperative as the Commission will regularly seek for information and documents from the PPPRA.
According to him, pressure may also come from the EFCC on staff of PPPRA as they will be required to testify in court or provide evidence for the prosecution of those involved in subsidy scam.
“I know pressure will be put on your staff. Please bear with us. It is because of the need to sanitise the country,” Lamorde was quoted to have said.
Earlier, the PPPRA chief executive, Farouk said the visit was to further consolidate the relationship between the EFCC and PPPRA.
Ahmed, who commended the EFCC for its effort to rid the country of economic and financial crimes, said he was looking forward to a more effective cooperation between both organisations.
Content Credit: National Mirror