Recovered Funds A Top Secret, Says Finance Minister
• Money May Be Repatriated To Owner Agencies
• FG, States Share N473.8bn FAAC Revenue
LOOTED funds being returned reportedly by former federal government officials, as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Tehran, last week, remains top secret, as no specific figure has been named.
Contrary to the expectations of many Nigerians that the alleged ‘recovered funds’ might form a major source of financing the 2016 budget, however, the money might instead be repatriated to agencies they were looted from.
This indication was made Friday night by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, at the end of her maiden Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, which she also chaired.
Conventionally, the Minister of State, Finance, chairs the FAAC. But with the absence of such office in the current administration, following the transfer of the Budget Office of the Federation to the National Planning Ministry, the responsibility fell on the Minister of Finance.
In her remark, Adeosun said: “There is no figure on the funds being returned yet. The process is ongoing. When it is completed and the accounts are available, they would be returned to where they were stolen. We haven’t come to that yet.”
The minister is equally unaware of the account where lodgment of the ‘recovered fund’ is made at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), whether it’s the joint Federation Account of the three tiers of government or the federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
Commenting on the FAAC meeting, held to distribute federally collected revenue for the month of October, the Finance Minister informed that federal, state and local governments shared a total sum of N473.8bn, representing an increase of N83.89bn, when compared to the N389.93bn distributed in the month of September.
She said the amount shared comprised revenue from statutory sources made up of N388.59bn and Value Added Tax N57.78bn. Of this amount, the statutory allocation to the three tiers of government, she said was: federal government N191.99bn; states N97.38bn and local governments N75.07bn.
Adeosun also said the sum of N24.14bn was allocated to the oil producing states, based on the 13 per cent derivation principle, while under the Value Added Tax (VAT) allocations, the federal government received N8.66bn, state governments pocketed N28.89bn and local governments were given N20.22bn. She put the gross statutory revenue for the month of October at N400.31bn, stating that this was higher than the N321.99bn received in the month of September.