Bayelsa Government has said deductions amounting to N11.678 billion by the Federal Government from its monthly revenue allocation over disputed oil wells with sister states are illegal.
Technical Adviser to the Governor on Finance, Revenue and Accounts, Timipre Seipulou, stated this, yesterday, while responding to questions from newsmen after the state’s transparency briefing for March and April 2021 in Yenagoa.
He said although a lower court had ruled over the matter, the Federal Government should have allowed all the legal processes to be exhausted before making such deductions.
Seipulou, who noted that the state government had protested over the issue to no avail, said N939.865 million was being deducted monthly from the Bayelsa government’s allocation, which payment is spread over a period of one year.
“The N11 billion deducted is the fund we were earning from statutory and derivation allocations. But now, we have legal issues with our sister states where some oil wells are being contested.
“While the issue is still in court, the Federal Government said the Bayelsa State government needed to pay the money back to the federation account. The Federal Government should not have deducted such funds until the legal processes were exhausted.
“The Bayelsa government had made its objection very clear but because the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations are distributed from Abuja through the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), they took the decision to deduct our money. It is a decision we are not comfortable with.”
Seipulou also made some clarification over the payment of staff and teachers in Ogbia Local Government Area, stating that the state government for the past three months has been collaborating with the council to pay workers’ salary, including ensuring promotions were effected up to date.
Presenting the income and expenditure report for March, Seipulou said the total gross inflow was N10.4 billion, consisting statutory allocation of N2.118 billion, derivation N5.922 billion and Value Added Tax N1.5 billion.
Other receipts were foreign exchange equalisation N221.4 million and ecological fund N57.77 million among other items.