Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fuel subsidy: NNPC suspends deductions from federation account

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has suspended further deductions from the Federation Account in the name of subsidies for petroleum products which the state governments described as illegal and vehemently objected to.
A statement issued yesterday by the Minister of State for Finance/Chairman of FAAC, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama said “after due consultations between the Minister of State for Finance and Chairman of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama, the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Wednesday agreed to stay action on further recovery on backlog of subsidies due it from the Federation Account. Dr. Ngama was positive that this decision would help resolve the issues that stalled the last FAAC meeting in Abuja”.
Last Tuesday, the States’ Commissioners of Finance had planned to engage in a showdown with the Minister of State for Finance and Chairman of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, Alhaji Yerima Lawal Nagama at their monthly meeting in Abuja over the sum of N250 billion deducted by the NNPC and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, from the September federation accounts revenue for the purpose of oil subsidies.
The Minister who was said to have got wind of the plans by the State Commissioners to embarrass him by staging a walk-out, stayed away from the venue of the meeting thereby causing an indefinite postponement of the meeting.
Following the lingering face-off between the state governments and the NNPC over the illegal deductions and unremitted funds, the FAAC, failed for the second successful month to distribute the monthly allocation to the three tiers of government.
The Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had however promised that all the knotty issues would be fully addressed and that FAAC would reconvene soon for the distribution of the September allocation to the three tiers of government.