By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
LAGOSâ€”THE amount saved from oil windfall in the countryâ€™s excess crude revenue account has been further depleted with the sharing of $4.8 billion among the three tiers of government in the country in March.
The withdrawal of the amount has also reduced the amount outstanding in the nationâ€™s foreign reserve as the excess crude component of the reserve is the amount that has not been spent.
According to facts obtained from the office of the Minister of State for Finance, the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, approved the request of the Federation Account Allocation Committee for the release of funds to supplement the monthly statutory and VAT allocations to the three tiers of government.
The fact sheet revealed that out of the $4,873,379,964.92 released from the account, mineral producing states received the highest with Akwa Ibom taking $239 million followed closely by Rivers state with $220 million. Delta State was next with a total of $211 million while Bayelsa State had an allocation of $107 million. The lowest recipients are non-mineral producing states which include Ebonyi with an allocation of $39 million, Nasarawa $40.6 million, Gombe $40.7 million and Ekiti $41.3 million.
However, Kano State got $48.176 million while the 44 local government councils in the state got an allocation from the excess crude account of $50.335 million. Lagos State got $43.518 million from the excess crude account just as the 20 local government councils in the state received $30.575 million bringing the stateâ€™s total allocation from the excess crude account to $74.094.
A break down of the allocation showed that Akwa Ibom State received a total of $208.573 million while its 31 local government councils got $30.910 million bringing the total to $239 million. In the case of Rivers State, while it was allocated $194.420 million the 23 local government councils got $26.325 million thus bringing its total allocation to $220.746 million.
In the same vein, Delta State got an allocation of $185.557 million while its 25 local government councils were allocated $25.792 million which brought the stateâ€™s total allocation to $211.350 million.
Bayelsa on the other hand was allocated $97.837 million while the eight local government councils in the state receiving an allocation of $9.886 million thus bringing the stateâ€™s total allocation to $107 million.
Improvement in crude oil prices
Crude oil prices have improved in the last few months, hovering around an average of $78 per barrel. This has given the federal government an elbow room to maneouvre as the bench mark price of crude for the 2010 budget is $62 per barrel. The excess of an average of six dollars per barrel had improved the external reserve position of the country.
Available data at the CBN showed that crude oil prices which stood at $66.52 in July 2009 rose to $74 in August, dropped to $70.22 in September and rose further to $78.25 in October, $78.11 in November and $75.11 in December. Export of crude which was 1.24 million barrels in July 2009 rose to 1.30 million in August, 1.49 million in September, 1.45 million in October, 1.51million in November and 1.57million in December.
It will be recalled that the Accountant General of the Federation, Mallam Dankwabo had disclosed last year said that the federation account committee agreed that N1 trillion be set as the base for the savings and whatever was earned as excess revenue in any particular month above the one trillion mark, 80 per cent of it should be shared among the three tiers of government while 20 per cent should be saved.