As controversy generated by Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki’s claim that N60 billion was printed to augment the March 2021 Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, fresh facts indicate that there was a breakdown in negotiation between the federal government and states on the actual amount meant for sharing among the tiers of government.
It was gathered from a reliable source that following a huge shortfall in the expected amount to the credit of the distributable FAAC pool for March, the federal government had originally augmented the shortfall with N8.645 billion from the Equalization Fund and some amount from a Foreign Exchange Reserves account.
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According to the source, the expected revenue shortfall was about N203 billion. The N8.6 billion augmentation was therefore a far cry from what was needed. As a result of this, the representatives of state governments, mainly Accountants-General and Commissioners for Finance rejected the amount.
At that stage, the meeting suffered a stalemate as the federal government officials insisted there was no more money to be added to what was on the table.
Since the state governments’ officials insisted on more funds, the federal government officials reminded them that several debts were owed by the states to the federal government and therefore expressed the need to net out some of the debts to make room for the cash that the states could have received.
That position was also rejected by the state government representatives. However, our source could not confirm if the state governments had been credited with their allocations after the meeting and how much exactly was eventually distributed.