Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nigerian Federal Government States Shared N6.2tn in Four Years, Says Okonjo-Iweala
MAY 25, 2015
Nigeria Punch

The Federal Government on Sunday night released details of how N6.21tn was shared from the Excess Crude Account by the federal and state governments between 2011 and 2014.

The breakdown was released by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, through a statement by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu.

The minister had last week promised to make details of the account available following a demand by the state governors under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum that she should explain how she had managed the over $20bn in the ECA between June 2013 and April 2015.

However, in the document issued on Sunday, the minister said she needed to make public the details “to clarify issues thrown up by recent claims made by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State on behalf of some governors.”

Analyses of the allocation as revealed by the document showed that in addition to their constitutionally approved receipts from the Federation Account, the Federal Government received the sum of N3.29tn, while the 36 states got a total of N2.92tn from the ECA within the four-year period

A further breakdown of the ECA disbursement showed that the 36 states received N966.6bn in 2011; N816.3bn in 2012; N859.4bn in 2013 and N282.8bn in 2014.

The document attributed the low figure shared in 2014 to a steep decline in revenues due to the impact of the crash in global oil prices, which began in the middle of that year.

Akwa Ibom, with N265bn, got the highest allocation from the ECA; while Rivers and Delta states followed with N230.4bn and N216.7bn, respectively.

Other states with highest allocations, according to the document, are Bayelsa, N176.3bn; Kano, N106.5bn; and Lagos, N82.9bn.

On the other hand, Kwara (N52.8bn), Enugu (N51.6bn), Gombe (N47.7bn), Nasarawa (N46.9bn), Ekiti (N46.8bn) and Ebonyi (N44.3bn) received the least amounts.

The summary of the inflows and outflows from the account indicated that the opening balance was $4.56bn in 2011 and reached a peak the following year at $8.7bn before declining to $2.3bn in 2013.

The document put the balance as of May 2015 at $2.07bn, noting that “the fluctuation in the ECA reflects the sharing of the proceeds usually requested by state governors as well as the practice of augmentation.”

It said the augmentation involved additional sharing from the ECA by both tiers of government when available funds were not adequate to meet revenue projections.

Okonjo-Iweala had last week described the governors’ demand as strange because issues relating to the management of the ECA were usually discussed by the commissioners of Finance of the 36 states of the federation during the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting.

She had said since the commissioners were representatives of their respective governors at the meeting, there was no basis for the demand.

Okonjo-Iweala’s statement read in part, “It has come to our attention that governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have requested that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance should account for an estimated $20bn oil revenue from the Excess Crude Account from June 2013 to April 2015.

“There is no basis for the demand and the stated amount. The statement by the governors is totally strange because FAAC meets every month and the ECA is discussed at every session, with all the state commissioners of Finance present.”


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