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Excess Crude Account Drops To $631m As FG Withdraws $1.3b In 3 Weeks




ECA Balance Shrinks To $631m

The balance in Nigeria’s excess crude account has reduced to $631m according to figures released on Wednesday by Mahmoud Dutse, permanent secretary in the ministry of finance.

The balance in the ECA was put at $2.319b as of November 25, 2018 when the FAAC committee meeting was held to allocate revenue for that month, Naija News recalls.

Between then and December 19, the amount in the Excess Crude Account has declined by about $1.68bn, according to statistics obtained from the Federation Account Allocation Committee.

However, at the resumed meeting of FAAC on Wednesday, Dutse disclosed to journalists that withdrawals were made by the Federal Government from the ECA to settle the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund.

Dutse did not specifically give the $1.68bn figure but analysis by Punch showed the figure might have been withdrawn during the three weeks period.

He said, “The balance in the ECA is $631m. The final payment for the Paris Club Refund to states was made and the figure was deducted and that’s what accounts for the difference.”

When challenged that it was wrong for such deductions to be made for such purpose, he countered that the committee got an approval from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council before making the withdrawal.

“A decision was taken to make this refund and part of that decision is that the refund should be funded from the ECA. Federal Executive Council, the President approved the money,” he said.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, also disclosed when accosted by newsmen on the withdrawal, said said due process was followed before the withdrawal was made.

“You can go and find out from the National Assembly if we got approval for it but due process was followed before the fund was released.”

Meanwhile, FAAC has allocated a total amount of N812.76bn for sharing by the three tiers of government.

The Federal Government got N326.75bn; the 36 states are to share N203.2bn while the 774 Local Government Councils are to share the sum of N153.52bn.

The 13 per cent derivation principle also allocated the sum of N57.07bn to the oil producing states.

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