FG robbing South-South of gas revenues, Gov Udom laments at meeting with FAAC
Posted by News Express | 2 September 2021 | 345 times
•Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel
By INIOBONG EKPONTA, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel has accused the Federal Government (FG) of shortchanging the oil-producing states, alleging that revenue accruals from gas resources have not been properly accounted for given the fact that no remittances have been made to the benefiting states.
Governor Emmanuel made this known while receiving a team from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) on a sensitisation as the federal government set for the upward review of revenues drawn from the Federation Account during a visit led by the Federal Commissioner, Hon. Sunday Ayang, on Wednesday, at Government House, Uyo.
The governor urged the RMAFC team led by the Federal Commissioner representing the state at FAAC, Mr Sunday Ayang, to reflect on the major challenges of the states in their input and work towards its implementation to further assist states to tackle pending financial issues.
“Let me appreciate this call to my office, some of the grey areas and concerns you have pointed out, please I want to appeal that this should be an exercise that will yield results.
“Honestly the current sharing formula is not helping matters at all especially we in the oil-producing areas, what you sign into law from the centre is also a major problem, how can you say that a community will take only 3per cent from the proceeds of the NNPC, and it’s generating a lot of heat here, but we are trying to manage that. Irrespective of going round, we all submitted memoranda of PIB nothing was taken into consideration.
“So I hope this won’t be a similar exercise, and that what we contribute will be taken into consideration. What we should do should help build and unite the country, coordinate economic activities for our growth and for the interest of everybody so that we can live at peace,” he noted.
Lamenting what he described as the wholesale diversion of gas revenues, the governor appealed to the FACC team to address the anomaly in the new revenue regime by impressing it on the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to remit the Value Added Tax (VAT) from gas to the benefiting states for more development to thrive and douse the prevailing tension in the region.
“Gas is a major issue, I can’t be a state that sits on the largest quantum of gas in this country and I am not getting anything. 36.1 per cent of the oil and gas reserve of Nigeria is in Akwa Ibom State, and I am not getting anything from gas. So how is it computed? he queried, pointing out that “there is something wrong somewhere, it is wrongly computed.”
He explained that “these are raw data that can be verified anywhere. Now there is another controversy of VAT; all VAT from these IOCs where are they paying them to?
“They are not paying them to us, so there are many things you should look at and develop for the federal government. So VAT from IOCs, from oil and gas should actually go to the states these things are produced.”
According to him, if properly implemented, the new revenue regime would address the core issues of population increase, marine security along the coastal lines, erosion menace and other challenges to reduce the burden of the state government.
However, the FAAC team leader Ayang, explained they were in the state to sensitise Akwa Ibom people on the review of sharing formula between the federal, states and local governments, where stakeholders are expected to send in inputs to capture key areas of socio-economic developments.
Ayang noted that “the constitution makes provision for the exercise to be carried out every five years to further improve on revenue sharing among the three tiers of government,” disclosing that the team was working towards presenting the memoranda before President Muhammadu Buhari for assessment and necessary actions.
“It is an honour to discuss matters of revenue allocation formula review, the primary purpose of our visit is to sensitise the people in the state of the fact that RMAFC is embarking on an exercise to review vertical formula of sharing the revenue allocation across the three tiers of governments,” he stressed. (Nigerian Tribune)