The Federal Ministry of Finance yesterday announced that the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) had shared N581.498 billion to the three tiers of government for December 2013.
The Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, announced this in Abuja when he addressed newsmen on the outcome of the FAAC meeting which ended yesterday
Ngama said that the amount shared included N64.725 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT), N7.617 billion refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and N35.549 billion from SURE-P.
He said that actual distributable amount for the month was N473.607 billion as against budgetary expected figure of N623.768 billion.
“The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N473.607 billion, which is N150.161 billion less than the N623.768 billion that was budgeted for the month.
“Also distributed is the sum of N7.617 billion refunded by the NNPC to be shared to states and local governments. In addition, the sum of N35.549 billion is proposed for distribution under the SURE-P Programme,’’ he said.
A breakdown of the distribution showed that the Federal Government received N221.161billion, representing 52.68 per cent; states got N112.176 billion, representing 26.72 per cent, while local governments received N86.483 billion, representing 20.60 per cent.
He also announced that N48.461 billion, representing 13 per cent derivation revenue, was shared among the oil producing states.
On VAT, the minister said that the gross revenue collected in December was N64.725 billion as against N91.730 billion distributed in November, representing a drop of N27.005 billion.
He said that the mineral revenue collected for the month was N379.122 billion, which was less than the N490.765 billion realised in November and also less than budgeted expectation of N465.057 billion for the month.
He stated that non-mineral revenue collected during the period was N100.828 billion, showing a reduced difference of N6.159 billion from the N106.987 that was collected in November.
Ngama said N6.343 billion was transferred to the nation’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) for December, adding that revenue realised in the month was poor.
He attributed the low revenue to serious disruption in oil production, vandalism of pipelines and “Force Majeure” declared at Bonny Terminal.
Also addressing newsmen, the Chairman of Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr Timothy Odah, said that the forum had extensive discussions on how best to resolve the issue of returns from the revenue collecting agencies.
He said that a committee, headed by the Accountant-General of the Federation, had been constituted to look into issues of returns from the agencies, especially NNPC.
“We want to know the average daily oil production so that we can use it as a yard stick to measure what they bring to us as the returns for the month hence forth,” he said.
He said that the committee would also look into the contentious issue of 10.8 billion dollars, alleged not to have been remitted to the federation’s account by the NNPC.
“The essence of the committee is to look into the explanation that was given by the NNPC in regards to the missing 10.8 billion dollars so that we will know if we will agree with it or not,” he explained.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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