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Bayelsa faults N11.67 billion FAAC deductions

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Bayelsa State government has said deductions amounting to N11.678 billion by the Federal Government from its monthly revenue allocation over disputed oil wells with sister states were illegal.

Technical Adviser to the Governor on Finance, Revenue and Accounts, Mr. Timipre Seipulou, stated this, yesterday, while responding to questions from journalists after the state’s transparency briefing for the months of March and April 2021 in Yenagoa.

He said although a lower court had ruled on the matter, the Federal Government should have allowed all the legal processes to be exhausted before making such deductions.

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Seipulou, who noted that the state government had protested over the issue to no avail, said N939.865 million was being deducted monthly from the Bayelsa government’s allocation, which payment is spread over a period of one year.

He said: “The N11 billion deducted is the fund we were earning from statutory and derivation allocations. But now we have legal issues with our sister states where some oil wells are being contested.

“While the issue is still in court, the Federal Government said that the Bayelsa State government needed to pay the money back to the Federation Account. The Federal Government should not have deducted such funds until the legal processes were exhausted.

“The Bayelsa government had made its objection very clear but because the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations are distributed from Abuja through the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), they took the decision to deduct our money. It is a decision we are not comfortable with.”

Seipulou also made some clarification over the payment of staff and teachers in Ogbia local government council, stating that the state government for the past three months has been collaborating with the council to pay workers’ salary, including ensuring that promotions were effected up to date.

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