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.
LG Polls: Ogun Imposes Movement Restriction
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Ogun State Government has announced a statewide restriction of movement between 7 am and 4 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to allow for the conduct of local government elections.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said the restriction was at the instance of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), which is conducting the councilorship and chairmanship elections in all the 236 wards across the 20 local government areas in the state.
However, during the period of the restriction, voters will be free to move to their polling centres within their neighbourhood and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
The statement urged the electorate to be peaceful and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Ogun State as one of the most peaceful states in the country.
This is coming after the Lagos State Government restricted movement between 8 am and 3 pm on Saturday for the same purpose.
Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, had said in a statement Thursday that the restriction will enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct hitch-free elections across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in the state.
“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security,” Mr Omotoso said.
Everybody Needs PR—Yomi Badejo-Okusanya
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Group Managing Director of CMC Connect BCW, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (YBO), has emphasised the importance of Public Relations to organisations and individuals, saying everybody needs PR.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, who doubles as the president of the African Public Relations Association (APPA), therefore, submitted that efforts should be made to have a better understanding of the profession, noting that PR is different from journalism but both work together to achieve great results.
He called on organisations, leaders, nations, policy and decision-makers to never overlook the value that PR brings to the table.
“Many still bear in mind that PR is only about press releases and organising events whilst those with an understanding of the weight PR professionals pull as a result of their expertise have yielded great results for themselves,” he said.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, while speaking on the first-ever World PR Day held on July 16, 2021, charged practitioners to push forward the agenda of PR in their daily dealings, stressing that “PR needs PR.”
The APRA leader said the decision to set aside a day for PR and a unified global agenda was indeed a welcome development, stressing that, for the past 33 years, APPA has been able to gather PR Practitioners in Africa and recently across the globe under one roof to push forward the agenda of PR, the profession itself and discuss issues, trends and solutions to PR needs.
“I am delighted because this day speaks to the fact that our effort is yielding results in ways that will take the profession to the level where it belongs and better utilized by organisations, businesses, nations, brands, individuals, decision and policymakers.
“Truth is, everybody needs PR. It is part of our daily lives and PR is about telling a compelling story! This call for unity on a day such as this will bring about great opportunities and collaborations that will be beneficial to our profession in the long run,” he said.
MIIVOC to Train FIRS Officials on FOI Act
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A group known as the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is taking steps to improve the knowledge of government officials in the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011.
Already, it has concluded arrangements with the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to train key personnel on the provisions and application of the law.
“Knowledge and capacity on the FOI Act are still very low in the country. There is a need for training and retraining of representatives of public institutions on the provisions and applications of the Act.
“Poor understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act is one of the reasons for its poor implementation in Nigeria, particularly, among state actors,” the Executive Director of MIIVOC, Mr Walter Duru, said.
“Section 13 of the FOI Act makes it mandatory for public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information or records held by the government or public institutions, as provided for in this Act,” he added.
“Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, the present management of FIRS approved the training for relevant officials of the Service on the FOI Act, with the view to ensuring increased compliance. The training is to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in Abuja,” Mr Duru also stated.
The MIIVOC chief, who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria called on other public institutions in the country to take steps towards enhancing the capacity of their officials through regular training and retraining on the provisions of the Act.
He also called on Nigerian citizens to take advantage of the FOI Act to hold governments at all levels accountable.
Mr Duru, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Multimedia Design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola is the leader of the non-state actors drive on FOI Implementation in Nigeria – Chairman of Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria.
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