President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate payment of December salaries to Federal Government workers.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at the end of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, said salaries were already being paid in response to the Presidential directive.
She said salaries were being paid, and that people have already started getting alerts. “We are very conscious of the need that people are paid in time for the festive season,” she stated.
Mrs. Adeosun said the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA), was $2.258 billion as at December 22, adding that the amount remained unchanged from what it was in November. She said $150 million dividend from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) was also shared at the meeting.
While giving the breakdown of what was shared for November among the three tiers of government, Mrs Adeosun lamented that there was revenue decline of N103.95 billion, indicating the difference of the N473.83billion for October and the N369.88 billion shared in November.
Yesterday, the three tiers shared a statutory revenue of N297.45 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT)-N61.18 billion, exchange gain-N4.92 billion and refund made by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for debt owed the Federation Account-N6.33 billion.
From the statutory revenue of N297.45billion, the Federal Government after deducting the cost of collection to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) received N139.5 billion; states N70.76 billion; and local government areas- N54.55 billion.
Also, N25.6 billion was allocated to the oil producing states as the 13 per cent derivation fund. For VAT revenue of N61.18 billion, the Federal Government, after deducting cost of collection of FIRS got N8.8 billion, while states pocketed N29.36 billion and local governments got N20.55 billion.
The finance minister attributed the decline in allocation to reduction in revenue which was caused by shutdown and shut-in of production at various terminals during the period.
She however painted an optimistic picture when she said: “Even though the revenues were currently down, non oil revenue is beginning to make up for the shortfall in oil revenue. Ongoing maintenance and the shutdown and shut-in of production for repairs at different terminals during the month continued to impact crude oil and gas revenue negatively.
“We don’t have to rely on oil with its price going down and very unstable. We are focusing on revenue from non-oil and you can see impressive N369.882 billion compliance with tax.”
Apart from repairs and maintenance, members of the FAAC were told that there was also a revenue loss of $19.43 million as a result of reduction in export even though the average price of crude oil increased from $46.96 in September to $49.58 in October while non oil revenue also decreased by N114.2billion in November in comparison to the previous month of October.