That the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Jonah Otunla, called the Chairman of Commissioners Forum to Abuja would have been a good news to the commissioners until they realised they were to collect a paltry sum of N75 billion released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)out of the outstanding N466 billion of the state government allocations.
The Federal Government, through the AGF, raised N548.393 billion as the Statutory Revenue for the three tiers of government for August after it met tough resistance from the state governments.
The 36 states governors of the federation had lamented over the non-receipt of their arrears of about N466 billion from the federation action for about three months.
There is no doubt that they would have started dipping their hands into the reserves of their respective states to meet recurrent expenditures, like exorbitant payment of (ghost) workers’ salaries among other drainpipes they use to siphon at their own levels.
May be the federal government have found better urgent use for the governors monies (their share of federally collected revenue)
Leadership reported that the Niger State commissioner for finance, Alhaji Mahmoud Kpako Bello, stated that the Federal allocation has not been regular for sometime now.
“I think, for more than six months now, we have had our Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting and agreed on the amount to be distributed, but if we come back what we see in our accounts will be different from what we have agreed on.”
Chairman of the Commissioners’ Forum, Timothy Odaah, confirmed that the AGF called a meeting with the other state commissioners of finance in Abuja to share the outstanding N75 billion, but that he rejected the offer, insisting that all the backlog owed the states must be paid.
Odaah is also the Commissioner for Finance, Ebonyi State.
The chairman had rejected the allocations on the basis that the states were being owed N336 billion, with the N75 billion being the balance of the July 2013 arrears, N121 billion from June augmentation and over N90 billion as July augmentation.
May be it is best for the states governments to embrace the revenues allocation piece rate system pending the time the federal government will get loans or grant from its international benevolent and cheerful givers. It is simply my opinion and I believe this country still has a long way to go in this regards.