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Bayelsa accuses FG of manipulating Excess Crude Account

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Deputy Governor Gboribiogha John Jonah

The Bayelsa Government has attributed the dwindling finances in the states to the alleged manipulation of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the Federal Government.

Deputy Governor Gboribigha John Jonah, who disclosed this yesterday at the monthly transparency briefing in Government House, Yenagoa, argued that the parameters employed in the distribution of the funds were not in the interest of the Niger Delta states.

He stated that Bayelsa recorded a N1.88 billion deficit for last month, noting that its earnings from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) had been on a decline in the last four months.

Revealing the state’s income and expenditure for April, Jonah said Bayelsa’s statutory receipts dipped from N13 billion in February to N11 billion in May.

He said: “As at the last report, the Excess Crude Account at the national level is almost empty.

“At the time the Excess Crude Account loan facility was discussed at the National Economic Council, our position was that we didn’t need any loan.

“If you look at the papers, the money distributed this month was more than last month. But we got less. When you talk about the factors that they use, the only one that favours us is the 13 per cent derivation.

“But when this government came, they have a way of adjusting a few things. So you always see that once the Excess Crude (Account) is manipulated, our allocation comes down automatically.”

“We are the most disadvantaged as far as other variables such as number of local governments, land mass and population are concerned. That is why you see our allocation coming down even when the amount being distributed at the centre is increasing. “

According to the deputy governor, the state’s gross inflow from the FAAC was N12.7 billion compared to the N13.2 billion it got in March, representing a difference of N549 million.

He announced April statutory allocation as N2.4 billion, indicating a decline of N1.2 billion, derivation N7.2 billion, Value Added Tax (N795.5 million) and forex equalisation fund (N1.6 billion).

Jonah said first-line FAAC deductions were N1.55 billion, including bond of N421 million, restructured repayment of N127 million, bank loans of N741 million and ECA loan facility of N126 million.

He added that the deductions left the state with a Net FAAC inflow of N11 billion while total receipts from other sources stood at N1.18 billion, comprising a N1 billion internally generated revenue for March.

The setback notwithstanding, the state government said it generated N1.15 billion from internal sources in April.

Meanwhile, an anti-corruption crusader, General Adamu Yusuf (rtd), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the missing $2.1 billion Malabu oil funds allegedly recovered from the Abuja home of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Addressing the state of the nation yesterday in Abuja, Yusuf claimed that the Chief of Staff to the President Buhari, Abba Kyari, and a former Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, were aware of the recovered loot.

The general further alleged that the money was never at any time returned to the treasury.


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