Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nigeria loses $22.53 million in a month due to falling oil prices

The declining trend in crude oil prices at the international oil market continued to negatively affect Nigeria’s earnings from crude oil exports, as the country lost $22.53 million (about N4.48 billion) in June, 2015.

The Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Ahmed Idris, who disclosed this at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, attributed the loss to the drop in average crude oil price from $65.76 per barrel in May to $61.27 in June 2015.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, secretariat calculation showed that daily basket price of 12 crudes dropped to $40.47 per barrel on Tuesday, from $40.67 on Monday.

The disclosure came just as the Federal and the 36 states of the federation as well as the 774 Local Governments and the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shared N511.799 billion allocation for the month.

The amount included a value added tax, VAT, of N74.945 billion.

Apart from the deduction for cost of collection by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, of N6.621 billion, or 4%, similar deductions of N3.199billion, or 7%, went to the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, and N2.389 billion or 4% for the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.

Another N240 million was for the refund to the NCS.

Details of the distributable revenue available showed that statutory allocation was about N424.115billion, while gross revenue of N433.584 billion received was lower by N52.368 billion than the N485.952 billion earned in the previous month.

The AGF attributed the drop in revenue for the month to the crude oil production facility shut downs as well as shut-ins of production operations to allow for adequate maintenance and emergency repairs.

The disruptions in the normal operations, which resulted in the declaration of Force Majeure by the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC during the period, the AGF said, were reported as the major incidents that negatively impacted crude oil revenue for the month.

While about N6.33 billion was refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to the Federal Government, the Federation Account also recorded Naira exchange gain of N6.409 billion, which was proposed for distribution.

Other details contained in the communique presented at the end of the meeting to reporters showed that the Federal Government took N202.111 billion, or 52.68 percent; States N102.513 billion, or 26.72 percent and Local Governments N79.033 billion, or 20.6 percent. Derivation payment of N28.209 billion, or 13 percent, went to the oil producing states.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia, disclosed that Excess Revenue balance for the month stood at $2.257 billion.

On late payment of salaries to civil servants, Mrs. Daniel-Nwaobia blamed it on declining revenue earnings in the Federation Account, which has affected the normal schedule for the FAAC meetings and the distribution of the allocations to the various members by the Committee by the office of the AGF.

“Prior to the current revenue, challenges of government is facing, FAAC used to hold in the second week of the month. This used to give states enough time to prepare and pay salaries of their workers.

With the FAAC meeting now holding in the third week of the month, states are not having enough time after the money from the office of the AGF hits the accounts of members, and it shared through the Integrated Personal Payment Information System, IPPIS, system, resulting in the delays.”

She urged the civil servants to understand the difficulties the government was facing in discharging its obligations regularly, assuring that the current delays in the payment of salaries was a passing phase that would soon go away.

On speculations that government was considering granting exemption to some government agencies from the directive on the Treasury Single Account, TSA, the AGF said he was not aware of any such exemption to the policy.

“TSA is a government policy. For now, there is no exception. All agencies that are funded either 100 percent or partially through the national budget, as well as those agencies funded through other means are expected to key in to the policy,” the AGF said.

“I am not aware of any exception. We are here to debunk the rumour that all agencies are supposed to comply as directed. We are coming up with adequate guidelines for the entire process and for the enlightenment of the general public.”

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