Oil subsidy: FG shortchanging us, Bayelsa alleges

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The Bayelsa State Government, yesterday,  alleged the Federal Government was making  illegal deductions from its monthly Federal Accounts Allocation (FAAC).

Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai, said the Federal Government was deducting four per cent illegally as fuel subsidy from its allocation. Ebibai, who stated this in Yenagoa during the monthly transparency briefing for  August 2019,said the deductions, which were made as from 2006, had accumulated to over N450billion in the last 13 years.

According to him the deductions  were  made without the approval from the Council of States.

Ebibai faulted the deduction of  fuel subsidy  from the 13 per cent derivation from South South by the Federal Government saying  the withdrawals held dire consequences on the economy of Bayelsa.

Ebibai, also  raised the alarm that the Federal Government had been making withdrawals from Excess Crude Account to fund petroleum subsidy, arms purchase and other activities that had no direct bearing on South South states.
He said these withdrawals denied oil producing states the right to access all monies due to them from the statutory 13 per cent derivation.

“It is important that we highlight that for a long time, under the pretext that we are saving for the rainy day, the Federal Government  used monies in the Excess Crude Account for activities such as petroleum subsidy, arms purchase and others. Some states are contributing unfairly to those activities where we use that money for so-called critical government expenses that do not relate to the states.

“If we want to save money in the Excess Crude Account, let the 13 per cent  due to the South South states be given to them. So we know we are contributing at par with our colleagues based on what is received,” said Ebibai

Presenting the financial statement for the month of August, Ebibai said the total inflow from the federation account was N14.5 billion, comprising statutory allocation of N3.5 billion, derivation N8.6 billion among others. He also announced that the total deductions from the federation account stood at N1.1 billion while the net receipts for the month of August was N13.4 billion.

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