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Excess crude account hits $7bn •FG, states, LGs share N731.13bn

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THE Excess Crude Account (ECA) is now $7 billion, as the Federal Government, states and the 774 local government councils in the country shared N731.13 billion.

The allocation, which is for March, was shared by the three tiers of government after a stormy session at the meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja, occasioned by the face-off of state commissioners of finance with the Minister of State for Finance, Lawan Yerima Ngama.

The finance commissioners had, on Thursday, when the FAAC meeting was to be held, stormed out of the meeting when Ngama was nowhere to be found.

Eventually, the states agreed to share the sum of N731.13 billion which represented an increase of N1.49 billion over the N729.64 billion shared by the committee in February.

The figure was, however, lower than the budgeted benchmark of N745.71 billion for the month, resulting in a negative variance of N14.57 billion.

Analysis of distribution showed that N496.41 billion was shared under statutory allocation, N61.63 billion from Value Added Tax distribution and N35.549 billion under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.

The sum of  N7.61 billion, being part payment of the debt owed the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was also shared at the meeting.

Out of the statutory allocation of N496.41 billion, the Federal Government got N232.53 billion, representing 52.68 per cent; state governments got N117.92 billion or 26.72 per cent, while the 774 local government councils got N90.93 billion or 20.60 per cent.

While the nine oil producing states shared N55 billion 13 per cent derivation, the VAT of N61.63 billion was shared among the three tiers of government.

Out of the N55 billion VAT,  the Federal Government got N9.24 billion; states, N30.82 billion and the local governments got N21.57 billion.

Ngama, speaking to journalists, disclosed that  the gross revenue for March was N595.71 billion, made up of proceeds from mineral and non-mineral revenue of N518.38 billion and N77.32 billion respectively.

He lamented that budgetary provision to the Federation Account from the non-oil sector was facing serious threat, as the revenue from the sector continued to decline.

Ngama said the rate in which the non-oil revenue was declining on a monthly basis would surely pose a threat to allocations to the three tiers of government.

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