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Delta Got 988% More Revenue Than Osun in H1 2018—NEITI

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A total of N3.95 trillion was shared among the federal, states and local government areas of the federation in the first half of 2018 from the Federation Account.

A statement from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) signed by its Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, disclosed that the disbursements made by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) represented an increase of 41 percent when compared to the N2.79 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2017 and a 95 percent increase in the N2 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2016.

According to the latest edition of the NEITI Quarterly Review, a breakdown of the disbursements showed that the federal government received N1.65 trillion, states received N1.38 trillion while local governments got the least share of N795 billion during the period under review.

The disparity in the revenues received by each of the three tiers of government was based on the revenue sharing formula of the federation as stipulated in the constitution.

The NEITI Quarterly Review shows that the lowest monthly figure of N635.6 billion disbursed in the first half of 2018 was N121.4 billion higher than the highest monthly figure (N514.2 billion) disbursed in the first half of 2017 and N218 billion higher than the highest monthly figure (N417 billion) for 2016.

“These figures clearly indicate that revenue accruing to the Federation in the first half of 2018 completely outstripped revenues in the previous two years,” stated the report.

The Quarterly Review further disclosed that total FAAC disbursements in the second quarter of this year was 46 percent higher than the figure for the same period last year and 127 percent higher than the figure for the same period in 2016.

The report noted that while N2 trillion was shared in the second quarter of this year, N1.38 trillion was disbursed during the same period last year and only N886.38 billion was shared in the second quarter of 2016.

“In fact, Q2, 2018 was the first time an amount in excess of N2trillion was disbursed since Q3 2014. This is a run of 14 consecutive quarters of disbursements below N2trillion,” it said.

The phenomenal increase of disbursements recorded in the second quarter of 2018, the report observed, was the highest to the Federation since the third quarter of 2014.

The report attributed the positive development to the rise in crude oil prices and similar increase in oil production.

“Average oil price in 2016 was $43.5 per barrel, while in 2017 oil price averaged $54.2 per barrel. However, in the first six months of 2018, average oil price was $70.6 per barrel. Thus, on the average, oil price increased by 62.2 percent between 2016 and the first half of 2018,” the NEITI Quarterly Review asserted.

“Total oil production in 2016 was 661.1 million barrels while the figure was 690 million barrels in 2017. In 2016, average monthly oil production was 55.1 million barrels while it was 57.5 million barrels in 2017. For the first two months of 2018 for which data is available, average production was 59 million barrels.”

On net FAAC disbursement to states, the review disclosed that during the first half of this year, “the highest receiving state was Delta State with N101.19 billion, while the lowest receiving state was Osun State with N10.24 billion. This implies that Delta State received 988 percent more than Osun State received.”

NEITI postulates that since “disbursements to all states as at June 2018 exceeded 60 percent of total disbursements in 2017, it is also likely that FAAC disbursements to all states in 2018 will exceed their 2017 values.”

The NEITI Quarterly Review also looked at the deductions made from the allocations to the states. The report identified five states with the lowest deductions as a percentage of disbursements as Anambra (2.89 percent), Yobe (2.93 percent), Jigawa (3.96 percent), Enugu (6.72 percent), Nassarawa (6.74 percent).

In the same direction, states with the highest deductions as percentage of disbursements were Plateau (33.48 percent), Ogun (38.43 percent), Zamfara (41.55 percent), Cross River (54.53 percent) and Osun (141.79 percent).

Another striking feature of the NEITI Report is the significant increase in VAT disbursements during the period under review.

VAT disbursements increased by 35 percent between the first quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2018.

The report remarked: “It is interesting that VAT has been generally increasing over time. This bodes well for the government’s efforts at increasing revenue from non-oil sources.”

The NEITI Quarterly Review expressed hope about increased revenues to governments from both oil and non-oil sectors, but cautions that the volatile and unpredictable nature of government revenues will continue to make planning difficult for all tiers of government, increasing difficulties in implementing their budgets.

It highlighted the need to place priority attention to internally generated revenues. The latest issue of the publication is based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and NEITI’s regular attendance at FAAC meetings.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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SERAP Drags FG to Court over $23m Abacha Loot

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By Adedapo Adesanya

A suit has been filed against the federal government by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the recently recovered $23 million looted by ex-Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1700/2022 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the group is asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari and Mr Abubakar Malami to release and widely publish a copy of the agreement on the Abacha loot with the US.”

In a statement on Sunday by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is joined in the suit as respondent.

The United States government had in August signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate the $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. It was in addition to the $311.7 million Abacha loot repatriated from the US to Nigeria in 2020.

“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations impose transparency obligations on the Federal Government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” SERAP argued in the suit.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement with the U.S. would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it, and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“The repatriated $23 million Abacha loot is vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. A substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been mismanaged, diverted, or re-stolen, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties, including the management of repatriated loot,” SERAP said.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Atinuke Adejuyigbe, said the Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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Lagos to Severely Punish Those Behind Mushin Collapsed Building

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The owner of the building that collapsed in the Mushin area of Lagos State and others would be “severely punished,” the state government has promised.

On Friday, it was reported that a 3-storey building on 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos collapsed, killing four people and injuring others.

In a statement issued yesterday, the new Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government would go after whoever is indicted in the incident, hinting that an investigation has commenced to unravel what happened.

During a visit to the scene of the unfortunate incident, the Commissioner directed that the adjoining building be pulled down for safety reasons, adding that efforts are on to rescue those who might have been trapped in the rubble.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory have been directed to unravel the cause of the collapse.

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NNPC Opens Talk with Financers on Gas Projects

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has established talks with the United States Finance Corporation and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) to seek financing for its multi-billion-dollar gas projects.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this at the Nigerian International Economic Partnership held in New York as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Kyari said: “Inclusion (in energy transition) means we need to be supported. We are already talking to the US DFC, and the EXIM so that they can give us financing and funding for our gas projects, and this is very critical so that we can have that flexibility to move forward and at the back of this.

“I’m sure some of you may be aware that today, we are getting a grant to build baseline carbon emission studies in our country by the United States Government. This is very helpful in the sense that President Muhammadu Buhari, has also asked that we need to be supported. Currently, the major source of financing we are having is from the African Exim.”

Nigeria’s transition to net zero by 2060 requires enormous investments in gas projects which have been positioned as the country’s major transition fuel.

Mr Kyari said Nigeria is looking for opportunities to leverage the gas resources in the country to provide the possibility required for the energy transition.

It will cost $410 billion to transit, according to the federal government, and huge gas projects like the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NNPC, ECOWAS Commission, and Morocco to deliver pipelines along the African corridor will gulp billions of dollars.

“We are embarking on massive infrastructure and to see how we can deliver the Morocco gas pipeline which will pass through some countries to provide a number of securities including bringing people out of poverty and increasing gas supply in the domestic market,” Mr Kyari said.

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