The Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on Thursday confirmed that the monthly meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Meeting (FAAC), which ended in deadlock on Wednesday could result into delay of workers’ salaries in many states.
Yesterday, Ripples Nigeria reported that the reason for the fruitless meeting was not disclosed.
But, Adeosun said the meeting ended in stalemate because the figures proposed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were unacceptable.
The minister, who made the disclosure in a statement by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Oluyinka Akintunde, at the 89th Meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), said that in her capacity as the Chairman of FAAC, she briefed the governors on the deadlock in the Federation Account in May.
She also said that there was a shortfall in the returns expected from the NNPC.
“I have an account that I give every month on the balances in our Excess Crude Account (ECA) and the Stabilisation Account. Items to note in the ECA are that in May 2018, we had an additional credit of 80.6 million dollars that accrued into it.
“For the purpose of this briefing, we operate NNPC as a business. We have invested public capital in that business and we have expectations of return and when that return falls lower than our expectations, then the owners of the business, which in this case is the Federal Government and States need to act.
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“So, that was what caused the deadlock yesterday and we really felt the figures that the NNPC proposed for FAAC were unacceptable. We felt that some of the costs could not be justified and so we have decided that rather than approve the accounts, we will go back and do further work.’’
“In order to get the accurate figures that we need, we have asked for forbearance and the state governors and the Federal Government are all in agreement that we need to get to the bottom of these figures,” she said.
It would be recalled that the NNPC, on Thursday, decried the demand by state governors insisting that the corporation must remit additional N40 billion to the Federation Account, saying it had remitted N147 billion to the account for the month of June.
The corporation said the amount remitted was in line with the terms of agreement it had with the governors to make a monthly remittance of N112 billion to FAAC.
NNPC said it regretted the governors’ additional request of N40 billion after it had surpassed the terms of agreement with the governors on the monthly remittance for the month of June by N35 billion, it stressed that it was “unfortunate, given the fact that NNPC is set to exit the cash call phenomenon.”
But, the Finance Minister said, “We have been going back and forth with NNPC to try and understand these figures before we can accept them.”
She, however, gave the balances in the ECA to be 1.91 billion dollars, stabilisation account N18.89 billion and Natural Resources Account to be N133.71 billion.
The minister said she was hopeful that the committee might reconvene “within the next few days.”
By Oluwasegun Olakoyenikan…
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