Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama
By James Emejo
The Chairman of the Commissioners of Finance Forum, Mr. Timothy Odaah, has said that efforts were being made to ensure that states with solid mineral resources are eligible to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation fund.
Speaking with THISDAY in Abuja, Odaah said the aim was to offer incentives as well as encourage the states to pursue economic diversification amid dwindling resources from oil revenue.
He said: “Almost every state in the country has some solid minerals or oil buried in their land and so if that is done, it would be an incentive because we have seen dwindling economy all over the world.”
According to him: “You have heard contributions being made and what is on ground now is that solid minerals should also be included as the basis for derivation and the essence is to encourage states.”
Continuing, he said: “It is not only in Nigeria and the clarion call is that every state must do a lot in order to beef up their internally generated revenue but there must be caution as far as that is concerned so that the impact of the incidence will not bear grudges on the minds of people, otherwise it would lead to social restiveness.”
Meanwhile, the chairman said the recent N260.512 billion drop in oil revenue recorded in August was only temporal and would not have meaningful impact on the economy.
Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama, had blamed the fall in gross revenue for the period on security challenges experienced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in crude oil production.
He had noted that: “The drop in oil production (from N825.396 billion in July to N564.884 billion recorded in August) was due to a number of factors among which are the security challenges faced by the NNPC, force majure declared at Bonny Terminal and the shutdown of Balema Gas Plant and Trans Niger pipeline as well as decrease in Production Sharing Contract and Modified Carry Arrangement.”
However, Odaah insisted that the trend was likely to improve in the next meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in October.
He said: “There is much understanding because we wouldn’t have agreed totally but the circumstances have made us to agree to the terms and by next FAAC there would be much more improvement.”