Finally, NNPC pays N450bn Federation Account debt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has finally offset its indebtedness of N450bn to the Federation Account.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, confirmed the development at a media briefing shortly after the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

The N450bn indebtedness has been a subject of controversy since 2010 following discoveries that the corporation failed to remit part of the revenue it generated for the country to the Federation Account.

The corporation had failed to remit the money despite persistent pressure mounted by the then Chairman of FAAC and former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola.

While the NNPC had claimed that it was insolvent, and as such, did not have the resources to settle the debt, Babalola had maintained that the fund must be remitted.

The wrangling led to the redeployment of the minister to the Ministry of Special Duties, a development that led to his resignation in 2011.

However, after much pressure by state governors, the corporation agreed to a monthly repayment plan of N6.33bn from September 2011.

Speaking after this month’s FAAC meeting held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja, Dutse said, “As regards the NNPC repayment, the figure is zero because the NNPC has finished making the payment that they are supposed to make.”

He said the committee shared the sum of N462.4bn among the three tiers of government as statutory allocation for the month of May.

The amount was N46.6bn higher than what was shared in April.

Dutse said, “The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N317.6bn. There is also a proposed distribution of N64.8bn, being the exchange rate differentials.

“Therefore, the total revenue distributable for the current month, including Value Added Tax of N79.9bn, is N462.3bn.”

He added that the government generated N159.9bn as minerals revenue, which was a reduction of N17.7bn from the N177.7bn generated in April.

The permanent secretary added that after deducting the cost of collection for the revenue generating agencies, the Federal Government got N147.7bn; the states, N74.9bn; and local government councils, N57.8bn.

In addition, he said the sum of N20.5bn was given to the oil producing states based on the 13 per cent derivation principle.

On the balance in the Excess Crude Account, Dutse stated that it currently stood at $2.303bn.

Copyright PUNCH.

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