Alhaji Yerima Ngama
James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama, Thursday allayed fears over the recent statement by the United States government to cut down oil importation from Nigeria.
This came as a total sum N575.464 billion was yesterday shared among the three tiers of government for the month of January.
The Unites States, which is Nigeria’s major oil importer had recently pondered over reducing oil import amid the current economic realities and planned to explore the renewable (green) energy in the near future.
But Ngama, who was addressing journalists at the end of the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja, said “Such anticipated shocks in the economy has been taken care of in the 2013 budget.
According to him, part of the reasons for establishing the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was to take care of the possible slowdown in the sale or export of crude oil by Nigeria.
He said: “The reason people have crisis is when an anticipated occurrences are not taken of.”
The minister, said although the threat by the US government not to import crude oil from Nigeria would likely have an adverse impact on the economy, there are enough savings to shore up the deficit.
He said: “We don’t normally spend all our income. That is why we domjj not really spend all that we earn. We have taken the slight slow down out of the budget.”
According to him: “What was left in the account as at the end of December was N9.24 billion but it was drawn down to N8.24 billion. But it has risen again to N9.2 billion.”
Meanwhile, a total distributable revenue for the month which included the costs of collection to both the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS four per cent) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS seven per cent) amounted to N575.4 billion.
This amount he said was shared according to the existing formula since the 2013 budget is yet to be passed.
The Federal Government received N216.5 billion or 52.68 per cent; while the state governments shared N109.8 billion or 26.72 per cent.
The local governments got N84.66 billion or 20.60 per cent while the balance of N47.43 billion was distributed as the 13 per cent oil and gas mineral revenue to the oil and gas producing states.
Moreover, the sum of N65.29 billion was shared by the three tiers of government as proceeds from the Value Added Tax (VAT), while N3.545 billion was injected into the monthly distributable funds as augmentation from the Excess Crude Account.
The sum of N35.54 billion was shared from the Subsidy Re-Investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds and another N7.61 billion which is the monthly refund from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was also shared by the three tiers of government.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, also said that for the month of January 2013, the sum of N651.26 billion was realised as gross revenue which was higher than the N581.05 billion realised in December 2012 by N70.20 billion.
The increase in gross revenue was tied “ to the significant increase recorded in the Petroleum Profit Tax for January as a result of upward review of estimates and payments by the NNPC Production Sharing Contracts (PSC and MCA).”
The former Chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr Eze Echesi, also told journalists that “the $1 billion request made by state governments was not only meant for the states but for local governments as well who are going to benefit from the fund.”
He said FAAC had instructed that remittances from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) be made on time and that states should make the best use of their resources.