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FAAC deadlock: NNPC can’t continue spending public funds without approval – Governors

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N147 BILLION

“The NNPC had remitted N147 billion into the Federation Account in May, which the governors faulted and described as a far cry from the expected revenue which does not reflect the current economic realities and prices of oil in the international market.”

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum met Wednesday night in Abuja to resolve some of the issues that deadlocked the last Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja.

READ ALSO: FAAC meeting deadlocked again

During their deliberations the governors insisted that the deadlock will continue until the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remits what is due the public to government coffers which would be shared equally among the three tiers of government.

The NNPC had remitted N147 billion into the Federation Account in May, which the governors faulted and described as a far cry from the expected revenue which does not reflect the current economic realities and prices of oil in the international market.

The governors also queried the amount that the NNPC is claiming to have paid for petroleum subsidies.

The governors said that final decision of their deliberation will be tabled at Thursday’s National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Meanwhile, allocations for the months of May and June were yet to be distributed among the three tiers of government following the rejection of NNPC remittances.

On June 27, when the stakeholders met in Abuja for the sharing of the May accruals into the Federation

Account, the meeting ended in a stalemate as the representatives of the 36 states rejected what NNPC remited.

Sadly, when the meeting reconvened last week, state commissioners for finance in attendance insisted that a permanent solution must be explored to resolve the recurring issue around NNPC remittances to the Federation Account.

The chairman of the forum and Zamfara state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, while briefing journalists at about midnight said, the governors still disagree with the figures presented by the oil Corpo- ration.

“There is a disagreement between the figures presented. I have been on the saddle for seven years and I have been attending NEC for past four months and if I see discrepancies I should be able to tell.”

According to Yari, the agreement NNPC claims it has with state governors to remit a maximum of N112 billion per month was done when oil price was $48 per barrel but now the price $78.

He said, “NNPC said it paid N88 billion for subsidy and in the month of June it said it paid N31 billion but it claimed N57 billion is for payment of subsidy in 2017, that is not acceptable and we won’t give the approval. You can’t just deep your hand into the public purse and take the money, you have to seek approval from the NEC or Mr. President.

“And NNPC said it has N15 billion for miscellaneous, N9 billion for pipeline maintenance, N3 billion for crude loss, all those things are not approved by anyone.

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