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Nigeria Is Not Broke – Minister of State for Finance
The Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda has dismissed insinuations that Nigeria is broke even as he revealed that the nation’s excess crude account has shrunken to $2.6 billion.
Speaking with journalists after the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the said that domestic excess crude balance in the federation accounts stands at N19 billion while the excess crude account remained $2.60 billion as at the end of January, 2015.
Yuguda stated that “insinuations that the country is broke, is a political point made out of nothing”.
He reasoned that it was an unfounded allegation to say that Nigeria is broke when the country was meeting its financial obligations as at when due.
“I don’t know the issue of the country being broke, people should come up with facts and figures of what it means for a country to be broke,” Yuguda stated.
The minister, however, acknowledged that recent measures put in place to boost revenue from non-oil sources are yet to yield desired results mainly because the non-oil sector is still linked to oil and gas which has been facing uncertainties.
Yuguda said that the federal, states and local government areas shared N500.1 billion revenue for the month of January, 2015.
Stating that the amount comprised of the month’s statutory revenue of N416 billion and N6.3 billion refunded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the minister also stated that there was also an exchange gain of N8.6 billion which is proposed for distribution.
“NNPC has paid the sum of N776 million it owed the Federation Account and remitted an additional amount of N4.4 billion, totalling N5.195 billion.
“Therefore, the total revenue distributable for the month of January, including VAT of N63. 9 billion, is N500.1 billion” Yuguda said.
The minister also stated that the federal government received N194.3 billion representing 52.68 per cent and states, N98.5 billion, representing 26.72 per cent.
The local governments received N75.9 billion, amounting to 20.60 per cent of the amount distributed.
He also said that N39.4 billion, representing 13 per cent derivation revenue was shared among the oil producing states.
On VAT, he said that the gross revenue collected for the month decreased by N9.5 billion from the N73.4 billion recorded in December.
Yuguda said N305.3 billion was generated as mineral revenue in January as against the N381.5 billion generated in the preceding month.
Yuguda lamented the low revenue generation for the month, while explaining certain reasons for it.
“There was a substantial loss of revenue due to further drop in crude oil prices from 77.5 million U.S. dollars in November to 52.3 million U.S. dollars in December.
“Also, a 33 per cent decrease in export volume between November and December, 2014, translated to a loss of 159.8 million U.S dollars.
“The shutdown and shut in of trucks and pipelines at various terminals continues to impact negatively on the revenue performance,” he said.
He said that another factor was that the non-oil revenues performed below the 2014 budgetary expectations.
Speaking also at the meeting, state governments expressed doubts about the capability of electricity distribution companies, EDCs, to give Nigerians uninterrupted electricity supply in the foreseeable future.
The chairman, Forum of Commissioners of Finance of Nigeria, FCFN, and Ebonyi State Finance and Economic Development commissioner, Timothy Odaah stated that in view of the urgent need to energize the economy through regular power supply, it was necessary to call on President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the EDCs to do more as the effect of privatization was yet to be felt by Nigerians.
“We took decision to let the minister confirm to Mr. President that performance of EDCs in their respective states are nothing to write home about, he said.