The forum of state commissioners for finance yesterday walked out of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC and rejected August disbursement insisting that the exercise was meant to short circuit the states.
Chairman of the Commissioners Forum Timothy Odaah said that ‚ÄúThe hasty and limited disbursement is to ensure that they (Federal Government) short circuit states. They should have addressed us at the meeting earlier today.‚Äù
Odaah insisted that the decision by the states to walk away from yesterday‚Äôs FAAC stood ‚Äúuntil governors meet with President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the problem,‚Äù even as he acknowledged that the delay resulted in delayed payment of civil servants‚Äô salaries.
According to him, the N548.393 billion ‚Äúhastily‚Äù released falls far short of the budgeted N630 billion expected to have been shared by the three tiers of government for June and July. He said it had been agreed that from August, only the actual accruals would be shared.
Odaah, on behalf of the states, demanded that the N121 billion outstanding for June augmentation be released along with the backlog of augmentation and budget benchmark for July.
State governments, he said, ‚Äúhave relied on this budgeted figures to incur financial commitments up to the point where it was agreed that no more augmentation will be paid from August because this has been appropriated‚Äù. ‚ÄúAs from August, states will act frugally because they know they will only get actual accruals without augmentation.‚Äù
The Federal Government had released N548.393 billion as the August statutory revenue for the three tiers of government.
According to a statement from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), this disbursement ‚Äúis an improvement over the figure of N497.984 billion as made available at the Federation Accounts Allocation (FAAC) meeting ‚Äú for the month of July allocation.
Responding to the walkout by Commissioners for Finance over an outstanding N75 billion expected from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, said efforts were being made to resolve the outstanding issues.
The statement said the OAGF promised that ‚ÄúFAAC has received assurances from NNPC that the issue is being dealt with with dispatch and that a positive outcome is expected soon‚Äù.
It also said that the government was exploring all avenues to end the shortfalls in revenue caused by oil theft and vandalism as soon as possible.