$1.7 billion left in Excess Crude Account, says AGoF
CONTRARY to claims by governors last week that about $2 billion was left in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the last administration, latest figures from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGoF) indicates it is actually $1.6 and $1.7 billion.
This was revealed yesterday by the newly appointed Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, while speaking with State House correspondents after officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMI) led by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Anastasia Daniel- Nwobia took their turn to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of their ministry.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State had last week, told journalists at the end of the 58th National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja that of the $4.1 billion left in the ECA in 2014, only $2.0 billion was in the coffers as at last month.
He blamed the former administration of squandering $ 2.1 billion without authorisation. But Idris, whose appointment as Accountant General of the Federation was announced last week confirmed that what was in the account hovered between $1.6 and $1.7 billion which would be distributed among the three tiers of government in line with the Presidential directive.
According to Daniel-Nwobia, the briefing was to acquaint the President on what is happening in the agencies, noting that though handing-over notes were presented, she believed that discussing the notes and clarifying issues in the handing over notes was important.
“And that’s what we have done with the President, as he will at least now have a bit of insight on how he wants to run the ministry in the interim. “The general message is clear: Mr. President has given a directive which we all have to fall in line with: Prudent management of resources, identifying more alternative ways of getting revenue and to mange the meager resources we have found on ground very efficiently and effectively for the betterment of the economy.”
She described as unfair insinuations that the absence of ministers has engendered massive looting in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) even as she, challenged anyone with evidence of such to come forward. She allayed fears about the state of Nigeria’s finances which she described as okay.
According to her: “The state of Nigeria’s finances is okay, though we are going through challenges of revenue stream to government. This, you know obviously, is from the price of oil that has dropped. But we are working to see how we can shore up the revenue, so that we will be able to meet our expenditure needs.”