Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to take the next step to address the issues that led to deadlock of the last Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, in Abuja.
She disclosed this after a meeting with governors Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State as well as the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adeosun had, last week, said that if the issues that led to the deadlocked of the meeting was not resolved, salaries might be affected in the states.
The committee members of FAAC had expressed reservations with some of the costs presented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), saying they could not be justified. Hence, the decision not to approve the accounts.
The revenue-sharing meeting had ended in a deadlock, on Wednesday, last for the third time since January 2018.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Adeosun said, “Well, as you know, the last FAAC meeting ended in a deadlock and since then we have been having series of engagements between ourselves, the governors, the commissioners and of course the various stakeholders.
“Today’s meeting was for me to brief the governors and the Chief of Staff and by extension Mr. President, on the progress we have made so far on our position. Mr. President has promised to take the next step and to that extent we are very satisfied.”
Asked why the issue with the NNPC has remained problematic and if they are not in the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Adeosun said, “There are. Every agency of government is in the TSA. You know FAAC is unique.
“FAAC is a meeting where all the revenue-generating agencies make returns on net of their expenses. It is in the area of where we have disputes. The disputes are not on the gross revenue but on what had been deducted from that gross revenues giving us the net which is being brought into the FAAC.
“But I think this is a healthy process. We must be satisfied with figures before we sign them. We must, as stakeholders, make sure all our agencies are aligned with all the programmes of government in terms of getting this economy really moving.
“We are still very much dependent on oil, on NNPC for our revenue. So, we do need to have sometimes some of these things. I see them more as reconciliations than stand-offs. I’m very sure we will have the FAAC in the next day or so.”
Governor Yari, on his part, expressed happiness that President Buhari had decided to step in to resolve the issues.
According to the governor, “There is headway because Mr. President and the Minister of Finance will meet with the NNPC official so that we can resolve the problem with the federal allocation accounts committee.”