State Governors Seek $2bn From ECA For Projects, Security During Elections

The Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states of the federation on Tuesday night made a proposal to President Goodluck Jonathan for the withdrawal of $2bn from the foreign Excess Crude Account.

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The Chairman, FAAC Commissioners Forum, Mr. Timothy Odaah while briefing journalists shortly after the allocation committee meeting held in Abuja said the amount was needed to enable the states and local governments complete ongoing projects.

He said since elections are coming and coupled with the fact that its expensive providing for security and other elections logistics, it would be difficult for the states to carry on with developmental projects owing to paucity of funds.

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The proposal, according to him, would be communicated to the president through the Minister of State for Finance, Amb. Bashir Yuguda.

The ECA, according to the minister who is also the chairman of FAAC currently stands at $4.1bn

Odaah said, “FAAC commissioners forum have asked for $2bn to be accessed specially from the foreign excess crude account because the states are really suffering, local governments are really suffering.

“We want to ensure that our projects are completed, we have seen issues of security. It has become a great challenge, you have seen health as well. What contractors do now is that if they raise certificate and the certificate is not paid within that time, they will charge interest.

“And you can see the elections that is coming up is costly and involves security.”

However, despite the drop in global price of crude oil, the Federal Government recorded an increase of N34.5bn in gross revenue from N502.09bn received in the month of September to N536.69bn for October.

The revenue figure was revealed in Abuja by a communique issued at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting which was held to consider as well as approved statutory distributions for the month of October.

The meeting, presided over by the Minister of State, Finance, Amb Bashir Yuguda, was attended by commissioners of finance from the 36 state as well as representatives from all the revenue generating agencies such as the Nigerian Customs Service, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

In the communique signed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, the committee said there was improvement in mineral revenue for the month of October despite ongoing Force Majeure by Shell, shut-in of trunk and pipelines at various terminals and unfavorable market conditions.

This, it noted, resulted in further decline of crude oil prices, adding that non mineral revenue also recorded a marginal decrease in the month of October.

The communique stated that while the country saw an increase of N45.29bn in mineral revenue from NN374.74bn in September to N420.03bn in October; non mineral revenue recorded a decline of N10.69bn from N127.35bn to N116.65bn.

It said, “The gross revenue of N536.69bm received for the month was higher than the N502.09bn received in the previous month by N34.59bn.

“Non mineral revenue recorded a marginal decrease in the month under consideration.”

For allocation, the communique said the committee shared the sum of N593.34bn among the three tiers of government for the month of October.

The October allocation of N593.34bn represented a decline of N10.19bn over the N693.53bn shared in the month of September.

Author: News Editor

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