States insist NNPC must remit N20b to Federation Account

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) appears to be set for a long drawn battle with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over alleged non-remittance of N20billion to the federation account by the corporation.

Chairman of the Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr. Mamood Yunusa, told reporters last night in Abuja that the NNPC must pay fully what is due to FAAC.

He said: “Based on all provable assumption parameters, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to remit N60 billion as royalty based on the verbal admission of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

“And based on the MTEF submitted by NNPC, the Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) expected was to be 1.46 multiplied by 60 billion amounting to N87.6 billion.

“The sum of PPT and royalty originally expected in the federation account is N147 as against the N127 billion paid by NNPC.”

Yunusa said the national oil company remitted N127 billion as May earnings instead of N147 billion, leaving a shortfall of N20 billion.

He recalled that at last week’s inconclusive FAAC meeting NNPC “claimed it spent N3.5 billion on product leakages, pipeline vandalism, but the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) an agency that is supposed to keep such record claimed ignorance of the amount.”

Yunusa said FAAC got more revenue from NNPC when crude oil was N50/barrel but now receives far less when the commodity is almost N80/barrel.

He said that as “equal stakeholders in the business, NNPC owes it a duty to Nigerians in the spirit of openness and transparency and by the Act that established it to be open and transparent to all stakeholders.

“States, as stakeholders in the federation account, are not expected to take NNPC’s account hook, line and sinker but are allowed by law to ask questions for clarity.”

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said on Thursday that the controversy over the revenue sharing might delay payment of workers’ salaries for June.

FAAC members, according to her, felt that some of the costs presented by the NNPC could not be justified, hence their decision to withhold approval for the accounts.

Adeosun said Preseident Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been briefed on the situation and were in support of the finance commissioners not to approve those accounts until further explanations on some of the costs being expected are given.

Reacting last night the NNPC said the issue will be resolved soon by the National Economic Council (NEC) led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

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