By Clare Nwaiwu
For the fourth time between June and July, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) failed to reach an understanding on what should be the sharing formula for the May 2018 allocation.
The monthly meeting for the umpteenth ended in a stalemate as Federal and state governments rejected the revenue figures submitted by NNPC for May.
One of the finance commissioners, who did not want to be named disclosed to Education Tell, that the committee was still not satisfied with the revenue figures presented before it by the NNPC
The commissioner said that the committee agreed to postpone the meeting to Thursday, to give NNPC a chance to make adjustments.
When journalists arrived the Ministry of Finance Auditorium venue of the meeting on Thursday, the situation was still the same if not worse as the states commissioners of Finance waited endlessly for the meeting to take place.
They all left in anger, insisting that that they would not show up for the meeting again unless the Finance ministry and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation showed seriousness.
However, the chairman of the States Commissioners of Finance Forum Mr Mahmoud Yunusa, who spoke with journalists after the abortive meeting on Thursday, described the issue as a fight and no longer a joking matter. According to him, President Muhammad Buhari is also very interested in the problem and taking his time to ensure the right thing is done.
His words “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.
“We want to strengthen and deepen this process, once the process is strengthened the correct amount is supposed to go to federal revenue account. Even if is small we cannot challenge NNPC, so we are also helping 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 NNPC under-remittance
“If the process is operated the way it is supposed to be, nobody will complain. The next meeting is a function of when we finish”.
It would be recalled that a meeting was convened on June 27, which was inconclusive. According to Yunusa, it was due to discrepancies in revenue remittances by the NNPC.
On June 28, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, confirmed that FAAC ended in a deadlock because the figures proposed by the NNPC were unacceptable.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-1″ align=”none” author=”Forum Mr Mahmoud Yunusa”]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[/penci_blockquote]
“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.
“So, that was what caused the deadlock 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.’’ (NAN)