The inability of the Federal Government to convene the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting may delay the payment of August salaries for government workers. The meeting, which usually holds between 15th and 20th of every month, has yet to be convened with seven days to the end of this month. It usually takes between seven and 10 days from the day the meeting is held before workers’ salaries are paid, according to sources at the Ministry of Finance.
“Going by this analysis, it implies that even if the meeting is held any moment from now, workers may not be able to receive their August salaries until next month,” one of the sources said. The source said the delay in holding the meeting was due to revenue challenges, which the country had been grappling with in the last few months.
There have been persistent shutdowns and shut-in of trunks and pipelines at various oil and gas terminals, which have had a negative impact on revenue performance. A top government official told our correspondent on Monday that a majority of the revenue-generating agencies had yet to remit any money to the federation account. It was learnt that the meeting, which was originally scheduled to hold last week, could not be held because enough revenue had not been remitted to the federation account.
The official said, “You know we have been having revenue challenges and the money we usually share is taken from the federation account, which is funded by revenue-generating agencies.
“Some of these agencies are still generating revenues and as of last week when the meeting was supposed to be held, we couldn’t hold it because there was not enough revenue for sharing.
”Some of the agencies remitting funds to the federation account are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Central Bank of Nigeria. The FAAC committee is made up of commissioners of finance from the 36 states of the federation; the Accountant-General of the Federation, and representatives of the NNPC.Others are representatives of the FIRS, NCS, CBN as well as Revenue MobilisationAllocation and Fiscal Commission.
The federation account is currently being managed through a legal framework that allows funds to be shared under three major components – statutory allocation, Value Added Tax distribution; and allocation made under the derivation principle.
The 2015 budget is targeting a gross federally collectible revenue of N9.78tn to be shared by the three tiers of government. The figure, when spread over a 12-month period in which the amount is to be generated, translates into a monthly revenue of N815bn or N2.44tn per quarter. But figures obtained from the Finance ministry revealed that between January and May this year, the country has only generated the sum of N1.74tn as gross revenue. When the actual N1.74tn revenue is compared to the budgeted target of N4.07tn that should have been earned within the five months period, it translates into a revenue shortfall of 57.3 per cent. A breakdown of the actual revenue revealed that the sum of N416.04bn was generated in January; N401.46bn in February; while the months of March, April and May had N315.04bn, N282.06bn and N324.96bn, respectively.
When contacted, the Director of Press, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Marshal Gundu, said that the meeting would be held on Wednesday. In his reply to a text message earlier sent by our correspondent, he said, “The technical session is on Tuesday and the FAAC meeting is coming up Wednesday, please.