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Release of September allocation, a fraud- Finance Commissioners

Forum of Commisioners of Finance in Nigeria has reacted to the release of N548.393 billion as the Statutory Revenue for the three tiers of government for the month of September as a sham, saying the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) did not approve such disbursements.

Chairman of the forum, Timothy Odaah who said this in a statement, explained that the position of the State Governments was that the payment of the N336 billion backlog due to states and local governments must be shared before further disbursements would be approved.

Odaah said “there was no meeting where the purported release of September revenues was agreed upon, describing the move by the OAGF (Office of the Accountant General of the Federation) as **ultra vires** since it contradicted the provisions of the law which set up the FAAC.

“In addition to the N336 billion, there were other under-payments to the states and local governments which would be taken up at the National Economic Council meeting by the State Governors very soon.

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“The OAGF is just trying to help in a very bad situation and that is what the Minister of State likes to do whenever there is a crisis. Remember, this was what happened when we staged a walkout from the meeting a few months ago.

“We have not received any money because the meeting where such disbursement would have been approved did not hold. So, what they are doing is not known to law. It is contrary to the provisions of the FAAC 1992. Our position remains unchanged. Let them pay the backlog of arrears after which we will meet to discuss on other issues on the Federation Accounts”, Odah said

A statement by Charles Nwodo Deputy Director Press in the OAGF, had said the release of then September allocation is an improvement over the figure of N497.984 billion as made available at the FAAC meeting in August.

Responding to the walkout by Finance Commissioners over the outstanding N75 billion expected from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the OAGF, said efforts are ongoing to resolve outstanding issues.

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The OAGF said FAAC has received assurances from NNPC that the issue is being resolved, assuring of a positive outcome soon, adding that the government is exploring all avenues to end the shortfalls in revenue caused by oil theft and vandalism soon.