The Accountant General of the Federation, Mallam Ahmed Idris, yesterday said that funds in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) had dropped to an all-time low of $1.83 billion following the withdrawal of $496 million from it by the government last month.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the withdrawal of $496m from the ECA for the payment for Tucano aircraft required by the combined security forces to boost the fight insurgency war in the country.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account as at last month was $2.3 billion.
This is even as the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) also distributed the sum of N626.82bn to the three tiers of government for the month of March, 2018 from the revenue accruals to the Federation Account.
The allocations of the sum to the three tiers governments came after days of disagreements orchestrated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) alleged under-remittance of about N12 billion into the Federation Account.
The FAAC meeting, which should have been concluded on Tuesday, was reconvened yesterday to share the available N626.82 billion even as there was a drop in revenue accruals to the Federation Account by about N77.5 billion during the month.
Addressing journalists shortly after the FAAC’s meeting, the AGF disclosed that the gross statutory revenue for the month stood at N480.59 billion, representing a drop of about N77.34 billion when compared with the revenue accruals of N557.94 billion in February.
Idris explained that crude oil export sales dropped by 13 per cent in March as against the 5.42 million barrels exported in the previous month, attributing the drop in volume to production shutdown at various terminals for repairs and maintenance.
However, he reported that there was increase in oil royalty for the month, while collections from companies’ income tax and import duty increased marginally.
Giving a further breakdown of the fund distributions to the tiers of government, Idris reported that the Federal Government got N263.1 billion while the sum of N167.61bn was distributed among the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory. He said that the 774 local governments got N126.29 billion.
According to him, the sum of N54.5 billion was shared to the oil producing states based on the 13 per cent derivation principle.
On media enquiry regarding when the NNPC would remit the underpaid revenue to the Federation Account, the AGF confirmed that the reconciliation was going on since there is no public finance system that will be devoid of reconciliation at any time.
He explained: “So, reconciliation is part of the order and in that particular instance, reconciliation that started last month continued this month and there is nothing new.
“We couldn’t meet yesterday (Wednesday) because we felt certain milestones had to be reached and on getting to those milestones, we sat today and considered the figures for distribution”, Idris added.