Fear grips Governors as FAAC meeting fails to hold

By Editor on 17/06/2015

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Much financial uncertainties grew higher in the 36 states of the federation as the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting scheduled on Tuesday failed to hold, putting further strain on their financial conditions.

This is as the governors of the 36 states plan to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday to consider proposals for states with financial difficulties, especially over their inability to pay workers monthly salaries.

It was gathered that all the state governments have been waiting anxiously for the first FAAC meeting following the swearing in of new governors in most states, to enable them receive allocations to run the affairs of the states.

It is alleged that former governors shared all the monies in states’ coffers leaving the new governors to grapple with serious  financial challenges on assumption of office.

The Ministry of Finance did not give any reason for the failure to hold the meeting.

Sources within the ministry however disclosed that the absence of a minister of state for Finance, who doubles as chairman of FAAC, as well as the recent retirement of the accountant general of the federation (AGF), Mr Jonah Otunla, last Friday may have contributed significantly for the delay in holding the meeting as the accountant general takes over in the absence of the minister of state.

El Rufai confers with Buhari

Former AGF, Otunla retired from service on Friday June 12, 2015, and Mr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa,  has since been appointed acting AGF.

The governors, during their meeting with Buhari are also expected to discuss the excess crude allocation and the FAAC as it affects the revenue accruing to the states.

All Progressives Congress (APC) governors had in May this year met with Buhari requesting for financial bail out to enable the states pay a backlog of salaries to workers in the states.

Already, workers in Osun, Enugu, Ekiti, Benue and Ebonyi states are on strike over the inability of their state governments to pay their back log of salaries.

In a statement by the director general of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Asishana Okauru said, “I have been directed by the chairman, Governor Abdullaziz Yari, to invite you to a meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) holding as follows: Date: Wednesday, June 17,  2015; Time: 10 a.m.prompt; Venue: Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Lagos/Osun Hall.”

He listed the agenda of the meeting to include: brief by chairman; update on FAAC & ECA; proposal for bailout to states;  revenue enhancement scheme for states, among others.

In their last meeting on May 18, outgoing chairman of the forum, Chibuike Amaechi who read the communique  said the governors are calling on the former minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to account for the money that accrued to the Excess Crude Account from 2013 to May 2015.

Specifically, the governors asked the former minister of Finance to account for over $20 billion between May 2013 to April 2015.

According to Amaechi, “There is the need for the minister of Finance and coordinating minister for the Economy, Dr.  Ngozi  Okonjo -Iweala to provide explanation for accruals to this account from June 2013 to April 2015 which is estimated at over N20billion”, the communique added.

 

 

Source Agency Report

Posted on June, 17 2015

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