â€¢ 35 states get N1.3tn from budget loan support facilities
Ndubuisi Francis and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) thursday distributed a total of N626.82 billion to the three tiers of government for the month of March after the controversy which stalled the meeting last Wednesday.
This came as the he National Executive Council (NEC) thursday in Abuja disclosed that 35 of the 36 states of the federation had secured N1.3 trillion from budget support loan facility provided by the federal government,
The state Commissioners for Finance had rejected the under-remittance by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by about N12 billion into the Federation Account, prompting the adjournment of the meeting.
However, at the reconvened meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, Abuja, the committee agreed to share N626.82 billion allocation for the month of March.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, explained that this was to allow the three tiers of government pay workersâ€™ salaries before the end of the month, while reconciliation is still ongoing.
Idris, who briefed journalists shortly after the meeting, put the gross statutory revenue for the month of March at N480.59 billion, adding that it was a decrease of N77.34 billion over the N557.94 billion generated in February.
He explained that crude oil exports sales decreased by 13 per cent when compared with the 5.42 million barrels from the previous month. He said the 13 per cent decrease in crude oil exports volume led to a reduction in revenue from federation crude oil exports sales by $33.58 million.
He said while the average crude oil price increased from $63.08 to $65.72 per barrel, the production shutdown at various terminals for repairs and maintenance affected oil revenue. However, he said there was a considerable rise in oil royalty for the month while companies income tax and import duty recorded marginal increases. On the breakdown of the N626.82 billion allocated by the committee, he said after deducting costs of collection to revenue generating agencies, the federal government received N263.1 billion. He said the sum of N167.61bn was distributed among the state governments areas while the 774 local government are to share N126.29 billion.
In addition, the sum of N54.5 billion was shared to the oil producing states based on 13 per cent derivation principle.
He put the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) at $1.83 billion as against the $2.3 billion in the previous month.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the withdrawal of $496 million from the ECA for the payment of Tucano aircraft to be supplied by the United States to boost the fight against insecurity.
Responding to a question on when the NNPC would remit the shortfall to the federation account, the AGF said:, â€œThe reconciliation is ongoing. There is no public finance system that will be devoid of reconciliation at any time.
â€œSo reconciliation is part of the order and in that particular instance, reconciliation that has started last month, continued this month and there is nothing new.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t meet yesterday because we felt certain milestone has to be reached and on getting to those millstones, we sat today and have considered the figures for distribution.â€ When asked how much is the amount to be remitted by NNPC, Idris said it would be determined when the reconciliation has been concluded.
â€œOn the amount that we are expecting to come in from NNPC, we donâ€™t talk on mere speculation or on hearsay. â€œWe have to wait for the amount to come and we will know what will be distributed. We donâ€™t base our projections on speculations, there has to be factual data,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, 35 of the 36 states of the federation have secured N1.3 trillion from budget support loan facility provided by the federal government, NEC disclosed in Abuja yesterday.
Briefing journalists at the end of yesterdayâ€™s monthly NEC meeting in the State House, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, said the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) told NEC that in addition to the N1.3 trillion accessed by the states so far, they have also got another N1.1 billion.
Adebule also said the AGF briefed the council on the balances in federation accounts as of April 23, 2018.
According to her, while the balance in Excess Crude Account as of April 23, stood at $1.829billion while the balances in Stabilisation Account and Natural Resources Account respectively stood at N14.226billion and N134billion respectively.
She also said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, told the council that the six-week Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) focused labs had ended and another would commence on May 7.
â€œToday in council, we were briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation on the balances in the accounts of the federation – the ECA, Stabilisation Account and Natural Resources Account.
â€œAccording to the AGF, the balance in ECA as at April 23, 2018, stood at $1,829,862,47 while in the Stabilisation Account, the balance as at April 23 was N14,226,835,000. The balance in Natural Resources Account as reported by the accountant general on April 23, 2018 was N134, 912,870,000.
â€œHe further gave updates on budget support loan facilities to states.
He said 35 states commenced the programme in 2016 and collected N1.3 trillion and in addition to that, another N1.11billion has also been collected. The repayment of the facility was extended from one year to two years.
â€œAnalysis of compliance level showed that 52.5 per cent was the highest while 13 per cent was the lowest with respect to the conditionalities for budget support loan facility.
Furthermore, update was equally provided on the ERGP focused labs by the Minister of Budget and National Planning. According to the minister, the six-week focused labs ended last week, that is, on April 20, 2018.
â€œThe next stage of the programme will now be an open day coming up on May 7, 2018and it is expected that the outcome of the labs will be on exhibition and state governments are expected to be part of it. For those who cannot attend for one reason or the other, it is expected that representatives will be sent.
â€œThe minister appreciates the chairman of council, Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, for his support in ensuring that this programme was a huge success,â€ she said.