States get Paris Club refund, FAAC allocation at once — so ‘Nigerians can have better Christmas’

Olubunmi Siyanbola, a director at the ministry of finance, says 27 states have received the balance of the Paris Club refund.

Siyanbola made this known on Saturday while addressing journalists after the federation account allocation committee (FAAC) meeting where N609.959 billion was distributed to the three tiers of governments.

She said the remaining states would get theirs as soon as some processes are completed.

Siyanbola said one of the issues discussed at the FAAC meeting was the accruals into the excess crude account (ECA), which now stands at $2.317 billion as against $2.308 billion in October.

Ahmed said the FAAC meeting held on Saturday as against the 20th and 25th of the month because of Christmas activities and the need to make money available to workers.

“Institutions found themselves inundated with reconciling figures at short notices and some FAAC officials were at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) till 9pm and the documents needed got to stakeholders this morning thus prompting today’s meeting so that Nigerians can have better Christmas and New Year celebrations,” he said.

The federal government got N248.227 billion, states received N125.904 billion, local governments were given N97.067 billion, the oil-producing states got an additional N43.215 billion as 13 percent derivation requirement, while the balance of N15.120 billion went for cost of collection and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) refund.

Speaking on the $1 billion to be withdrawn from the ECA for the fight against Boko Haram, Ahmed Idris, accountant general of the federation, said governors were part owners of the money and they can request for money to be withdrawn from the account.

“It is one thing for requests to be made, but there is a process for money to be taken out of an account. As part owners, there will be no objections and we will go with the directive,” he said.

Idris said Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti, should have made his objection known to the Governors’ Forum instead of the press.

Fayose had said he didn’t support withdrawing money from the ECA, alleging that the APC is trying to amass funds towards the 2019 election.