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Three tiers of government shared N2.8tr in six months, says NEITI

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Orji Ogbonnaya Orji

The three tiers of government shared N2.788 trillion between January and June this year, which represents a 38 per cent increase on the N2.019 trillion shared within the same period last year.

The shared amount also represents barely 40 per cent of this year’s federal budget.

This disclosure is contained in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) quarterly review, which focuses on disbursement from the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), which was made available in Abuja yesterday by the Director of Communication, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

The review was based on data obtained by NEITI at the meetings of FAAC and data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Out of $2.788 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2017, the Federal Government received N1.09 trillion, 36 state governments got N923 billion while N549.8 billion went to 774 local councils in the country.

A further breakdown shows that the amount released to the three tiers of government was N430.16 billion in January, N514 billion in February, N496.40 billion in March, N418.82 billion in April, N418.82 billion in May and N462.36 billion in June.

However, despite the 38 per cent increase in disbursements in the first half of 2017 when compared with 2016, all the three tiers of government suffered significant revenue decline in terms of projected FAAC disbursement.

For instance, while the expected FAAC disbursement for the three tiers of government was N4.7 trillion, the actual FAAC disbursement to them was N2.788 trillion, representing a shortfall of over 40.67 per cent.

The review further disclosed that N513 billion was spent on debt servicing by the three tiers in the first quarter of 2017. This was against the N1.276 trillion disbursements in the first quarter. This means that debt servicing took 40.27 per cent of FAAC disbursement for the first quarter of this year.

The publication expressed concern that, the nation’s debt in relation to revenues appears to have reached critical levels. It further disclosed that domestic debt servicing constituted 90 per cent of total debt servicing.

On the Paris Club debt refund to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it confirmed that N760.18 billion was released to the 36 states and the FCT Abuja.

It hinted that the money paid in two tranches represents refunds of over deductions from FAAC allocations to states and local councils used for quick payment of debt relief granted to Nigeria by the Paris Club between 1995 and 2002.

The quarterly review also confirmed that the NNPC has completed the refund of N450 billion owed the Federation Account, as a result of portions of domestic crude receipts withheld by the Corporation from November 2004. This followed the implementation of a payment schedule worked out between the Corporation and the Federation Allocation Accounts Committee.



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