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Excess Crude Account: FG, states to share $2bn

By The Citizen
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The National Economic Council on Thursday approved the sharing of between $1bn and $2bn from the Excess Crude Account among the three tiers of government.

The decision to share the money was taken at the 49th meeting of the council presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo less than two months after the tiers governments shared $1bn from the same account.

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the money would be shared within the next two weeks, adding that the balance in the account currently stood at $7.82bn.

He said, 'An update on the status of the Excess Crude Account was presented by the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, who showed that $7.82bn was left in the account after the sharing of $1bn by the three tiers of government earlier in the year and payment of fuel subsidy commitments.

'The Council was also briefed on the plan to share between $1bn and $2bn within the next two weeks to facilitate various development projects being executed by the different tiers of government across the country.'

The governor disclosed that the shares certificate earlier presented to the state governors by President Goodluck Jonathan were in line with their equity in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and the National Integrated Power Plants.

He said a total of $5.3bn worth of investment had been committed to the NDPHC by the three tiers of government, adding that the value of each share was $4.1 with the volume per state depending on the revenue sharing formula.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan also briefed the council on the progress being made in the power sector, stating that many of the NIPPs would become active and functional by December 2013.

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said the NEC also approved the recommendations of his sub-committee, which reviewed a recent presentation by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Mobolaji Johnson, on a proposed improved broadband roadmap for the country.

The governor said it was resolved that telecommunication service providers should partner the federal and state governments to ensure proper harmonisation and integration of development projects with ICT infrastructure in the country.

Dankwabo said, 'The following are the key recommendations meant to provide the requisite stimulus for accelerated ICT infrastructure roll out across the country:

'All identified impediments such as multiple levies, charges and illegal taxes should be addressed to allow accelerated growth and development of ICT infrastructure.

'Harmonisation of all right-of-way processes and administration between the states and the Federal Ministry of Works guidelines for the granting of Federal Highway Right of Way, with agreed prescription by the ICT Ministry.

'The operators to make additional commitment to the host communities/States with respect to Right-of-way Grant.

'Implementation of standardised fees payable in respect of agreed list of levies/charges.

'A proper template for the implementation of the recommendations to be designed by the National Planning Commission in conjunction with the relevant agencies.'

Dankwambo said NEC also considered a report on the review of multiple taxation across the federation at various levels and its effects on the Nigerian economy, which recommended a phased implementation programme with short, medium and long-term timelines.

The key recommendations, according to him, include the review and amendment of the taxes and levies, outlawing of the use of unorthodox means to collect taxes and levies, and automation of tax operations by relevant tax authorities to eliminate leakages and ensure ease of collection.