By Dipo Olowookere
Governors Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State on Thursday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, will soon have a meeting with officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The meeting, according to him, is mainly to resolve the controversy surrounding the amount remitted into the federal purse by the state-owned oil firm, which caused the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting to end in deadlock some days ago.
Yesterday, Mrs Adeosun, Mr Yari and Governors Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State held a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The crucial meeting was to find ways to resolve the matter and also to update the President the contending issues.
Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, Mr Yari said the President and the Minister would hold a meeting with the NNPC on the matter. He expressed confidence that the issues would be resolved very soon.
“Initially, it was supposed to be a private visit, but it has turned to an official visit, because you know we were supposed to hold the FAAC meeting since last week, which became deadlocked.
“So, the Chief of Staff (to the President) decided to invite the minister so that we can discuss further and see how best we are going to deal with the matter.
“There is headway because Mr President and the Minister of Finance will meet with the NNPC officials so that we can resolve the problem with FAAC,” Governor Yari said.
Also speaking with newsmen, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, confirmed that President Buhari would take an action on the matter very soon.
The described the FAAC controversy as healthy, noting that it was normal for stakeholders to ask questions when things are not clear to them.
“As you know, the last FAAC meeting ended in a deadlock and since then, we have been having series of engagements among ourselves, the governors, the commissioners, and of course, the various stakeholders.
“Today’s meeting was for me to brief the governors and the Chief of Staff (to the President), and by extension Mr President, on the progress we have made so far on our position.
“Mr President has promised to take the next step and to that extent and we are very satisfied with this,” Mrs Adeosun told newsmen.
When asked if the NNPC was not captured under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the present administration, the Minister answered, “They are. Every agency of government is in the TSA.
“You know that FAAC is unique. FAAC is a meeting where all the revenue generating agencies make returns on net of their expenses. It is the area of where we have dispute.
“The dispute is not on the gross revenue but on what has been deducted from that gross revenue, giving us the net, which is being brought into the FAAC. But I think this is a healthy process. We must be satisfied with figures before we sign off on them.
“We must as stakeholders make sure all our agencies are aligned with all the programmes of government in terms of getting this economy really moving.
“We are still very much dependent on oil, on the NNPC for our revenue; so, we do need to have sometimes some of this. I see them more as reconciliation than stand-off. I’m very sure we will have the FAAC in the next day or so.”
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