Group faults Minister, says NNPC withholds N2.9tr from Federation Account

Andrew-Yakubu-NNPC-GMD17 September 2013, Abuja – A group, Forum of Concerned Members of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, has accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of withholding N2.983 trillion due to the Federation Account, thereby denying the three-tiers of government of their own share of the money.

In a statement yesterday, the Group wondered why the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, has not prevailed on NNPC to remit the fund, which it claimed represents outstanding/underpayments from 2011 to date.

While reacting to press reports credited to Ngama alleging persistent decline in the gross federally collected revenue accruing to the Federation Account and insisting that revenue will only be shared based on amount actually earned rather than what is budgeted, the Group said the statement was a calculated attempt to confuse Nigerians on the revenue accrued to the Federation Account and give the impression that the Federal Government was under pressure to augment revenue shortfall, while in actual fact, the shortfall is as a result of poor management.

“This has necessitated our decision to put the record straight for members of the public. We wish to state that the revenue profile of the Federation as painted by the Honourable Minister of State, Finance is incorrect and amounts to a gross distortion of facts and empirical data of revenue accruing to the Federation Account. Specifically, while the Minister put the revenue earned in the month of July 2013 at N497.98 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN’s, economic report for the same period stated that revenue from oil rose by 0.2 per cent to N645.65 billion, while gross non oil receipt (Corporate taxes, Customs and Excise Duties and Custom’s Special Duties) was put at N404.53billion, amounting to a total of N1090.18billion revenue which was higher than the budget estimate of N702.54 billion approved by the National Assembly for July 2013,” it said.

“The question the Honourable Minister of State for Finance needs to fully address without further delay is whether the N2.983 Trillion held back by NNPC is not part of the revenue earned into the Federation Account meant for the three tiers of government,” it queried, wondering why the Minister is not demanding full remittance into the Federation Account by the NNPC.

The Group also drew attention to issues of substantial non compliance with the 2013 Budget and non-adherence to disbursements agreed at regular monthly FAAC meetings, adding that there are huge outstanding payments of about N376billion, representing shortfalls agreed at various FAAC meetings from June’s Augmentation, July’s Benchmark deficit, and August’s Allocation.

– The Nation

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