Late remittances delay FAAC meetings – Commissioner

The Chairman, Finance Commissioner’s Forum, Timothy Odah, said that late remittances by revenue collecting agencies was often responsible for the delay in conducting the monthly meeting of Federal Account Allocation Committee.
Odah said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the FAAC meeting often took place later than scheduled due to lateness in rendering accounts.
The commissioner said that if funds were readily available on schedule, revenues would be promptly shared to enable all tiers of government carry out their responsibilities.
He said: “What I will like to see is improvement in funds.
“When funds improve, you will see that problems will go.
“Because all these problems that arise during FAAC meeting is because of money.
“That NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation) will not bring returns on time.
“It delays.
“So, if before we get here and NNPC has gotten everything we need, we will be singing haleluyah!
“If each period we come for FAAC and funds are available, there is the tendency that we will conduct our meetings and go on time.”
Odah said there was the need to employ good accounting system to ensure proper accounting of revenue generated in the country.
He said that the country must computerise all aspects of its transactions for best international accounting practices.
Odah said that revenue remittance to the federation account would be boosted if the entire businesses conducted by all of the country’s revenue generating agencies were done digitally.
He said that there would be reduction in fraudulent handling of resources if there were better record keeping of all transactions by these agencies.
Odah said it wasn’t possible to use automated sharing formula accepted by all in order to reduce the need for frequent FAAC meetings in Abuja.
He added: “I doubt that.
“This is because computer cannot talk for us.
“This is because the issue of FAAC meeting concerns disbursements.
“You know computer makes mistakes because human beings operate it.
“So there must be a sitting committee as well as a technical committee that will look at what was remitted into the federation account by all the revenue agencies involved.
“So, allocation involves decision and decision is initiative and whatever is approved, is a matter of consensus.
“So, to stay at home and allow computer to do it all, becomes a robotic affair, garbage in garbage out, which will then destroy the very essence of FAAC.”
NAN recalls that four times this year, FAAC was unable to approve monies for sharing among the three tiers of government.
Also on several occasions, withdrawals were made from the county’s Excess Crude Account to augment what was generated as revenue for that month.