The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday approved the release of one billion dollars from the excess crude account for distribution to the federal and the 36 states governments. Rivers Governor and Chairman of Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of NEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Presidenttial Villa.
The NEC is the highest economic decision making body presided over by the vice-president with all the State governors, Minister of FCT and some key ministers as members. Amaechi said that with one billion dollars, earlier deducted from the Account last year for payment of oil subsidy, the balance left in the excess crude account was 9.24 billion dollars.
“We just concluded the first NEC meeting for this year and the 45th meeting of NEC and several issues were discussed and we reached several conclusions. The first conclusion we reached was on excess crude accounts. The current savings is 9.24 billion dollars after the federal government had withdrawn N1 billion dollars for oil subsidy for last year and the chairman of council also informed the council of the approval of the President for distribution of N1 billion dollars to the 36 states and the Federal Government of Nigeria to enable them execute more people oriented projects.’’
The President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu, who was also at the briefing, said that NEC endorsed the harmonisation of taxation among the three tiers of government as it affected the manufacturing sector. Jamodu said the decision was reached following a presentation by his association on the effects of multiple taxations on productivity of the manufacturing sector.
“MAN made many prayers which included a review of stamp duty and CAC charges which MAN believes it is a disincentive to expand production base because we do not believe that tax should be imposed when you are expanding rather the tax should come when you started generating some profits from that investments. Harmonisation of taxes at all levels within the three tiers of government the outlawing of the unorthodox means of collecting taxes as well as full automation of the entire tax administration system were discussed and accepted.
“Overall it was a very good meeting as the presentations were open and very much accepted by the State governors.’’ Jamodu said NEC set up a committee to further look into the issues and report back within two months. According to him, members of the committee include Governors Abdulazeez Yari of Zamfara, Idris Wada of Kogi, Theodore Orji of Abia, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Rochas Okorocha of Imo Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun and Babatunde Fashola of Lagos States. Others are, the Ministers of National Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Chief Economic Adviser to the President, the Economic Adviser to the Vice President, the Secretary to the National Planning Commission Office, the MAN President and one other representative from MAN are also members of the committee.