Monday, 31 October 2011

States shun Abuja cash sharing meeting, Abuja ...Jonathan to meet governors today

Another attempt by the
Federal Government to persuade the states
to allow the sharing of the Federation
Accounts cash for September failed
States insist that they will accept their
September allocation only when the N250
billion deducted by Federal Government
agencies to fund “oil subsidy” is returned to
the accounts.
A meeting of the Federation Accounts
Allocation Committee (FAAC) – the body that
statutorily outlines the sharing formula of
the cash in the Federation Account among
the tiers of government every month –
slated for Abuja was yesterday shunned by
Finance commissioners.
This is the second time in two weeks that
they have boycotted the meeting.
On October 18, the commissioners staged a
walkout over the N250 billion deducted by
the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation
(NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Pricing
and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The action stalled the sharing of the
September allocation, which is estimated at
N1 trillion before the deductions. Anambra
State Finance Commissioner Mr. Eze Echesi,
who is the co-ordinator of Finance
Commissioners, described the deduction as
“illegal withdrawal”.
At the Sheraton Hotel venue yesterday,
some officials of the Federal Ministry of
Finance were waiting for the
commissioners, to no avail.
But it was not clear whether FAAC chair said
Minister of State for Finance Alhaji Lawal
Yerima Ngama was at the venue.
It was gathered that some of the
Commissioners met with Ngama, but
declined to show up for the FAAC meeting.
“The refusal of the commissioners to attend
the meeting is not unconnected with the
scheduled meeting between President
Goodluck Jonathan and governors,” a
source said.
The meeting between the President and
Governors will now hold today at the
Presidential Villa, it was gathered.
The President is believed to have, while in
Australia, called for the meeting to break the
ice in the frosty relationship between the
Federal Government and the states.
“We operate under the instruction of our
governors. If our governors ask us to
attend the FAAC meeting, we will do so. But
for now, we do not have such instruction,”
a Commissioner said.
A meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum
(NGF) will precede today’s meeting with the
The governors are also battling the Federal
Government over the Sovereign Wealth
Fund (SWF) and the review of the revenue
allocation formula.
They are at the Supreme Court seeking the
declaration of the SWF as illegal

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