Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
For the third time in one month, the Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting, which was to consider as well as approve revenue sharing among the three tiers of government for the month of May ended in a deadlock on Thursday.
The meeting had been postponed thrice due to what was described as revenue underpayment by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
After failing to agree on the amount to be shared on Tuesday, the meeting was rescheduled for Thursday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance.
But members of the committee, who attended the rescheduled meeting on Thursday, left without giving the necessary approval after it was discovered that the amount that the NNPC brought was not what was being expected.
The Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners of FAAC, Mahmood Yunusa, confirmed the development during a chat with journalists.
He said since the NNPC had refused to meet its revenue obligations to the Federation Account, the states had vowed to continue with the battle until the right thing was done.
Yunusa, who is the Commissioner for Finance representing Adamawa State at FAAC, said, “What we are looking for is for the process to be strengthened; once the process is strengthened, there is no need for this fight.
“It is about the system and the process, and we are working on it. It is no longer a joking matter, it has gone to the highest level. Mr President will sit down; he is highly interested in this; he is taking his time to ensure that the right thing is done.”
He said apart from ensuring that the right revenue was remitted, there was a need for the government to strengthen the operational processes of the corporation.
Yunusa stated, “We want to strengthen and deepen this process; once the process is strengthened, the correct amount is supposed to go to the federation’s revenue account. Even if it is small, we cannot challenge the NNPC. So, we are also helping the NNPC from undue pressure.
“We know that people are facing difficulties but this is a sacrifice that all of us must do to get out of this problems of the NNPC’s underpayment. If the process is operated the way it is supposed to, nobody will complain.
“The next meeting is a function of when we finish. That will be in a very few days.”
Yunusa had two weeks ago told journalists that while the NNPC claimed to have remitted N147bn into the Federation Account, what was actually received was N127bn.
He said based on analysis conducted by the committee, the corporation ought to have remitted a total amount of N146.6bn made up of N87.6bn revenue from Petroleum Profit Tax and N60bn from oil royalties.
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