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$30bn ECA Fund Not Missing, FG Tells Oshiomhole

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The Federal Government has described as untrue the allegations by the Governor of Edo State, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, that the sum of $30bn (N5.04trn) is missing from the Excess Crude Account.

The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in a statement on Saturday by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, that the allegation was “shocking.”

Oshiomhole had on Thursday accused the Federal Government of failing to account for about $30bn that had accrued to the excess crude account in the last three years.

The governor had said Nigeria’s budgets for the past three years had been based on an oil benchmark of $77 and $79, while the average price of the country’s crude had been $108 per barrel.

This, according to the governor, gives an average surplus of $30 per barrel.

He had said, “Ideally, we ought to be saving $36 per barrel on the 2.3 million barrel a day over the past three years and if you look at these numbers you will find that what we have in our excess crude oil account should be over $30bn but as we speak, we have barely $3bn in our excess crude account.

“Over the past 18 months, we have not shared the excess crude account and yet, the account is empty. Sometimes we are told they have taken money from it to fund subsidies, including subsidy on kerosene.”

But Okonjo-Iweala described the allegation as “totally untrue,” adding that the comments reflect, “once again, the unfortunate tendency of some political players to politicise the management of the economy on the basis of half-truths and sundry distortions.”

The statement reads in part, “The widely published comment by Governor Adams Oshiomhole alleging that $30bn is missing from the Excess Crude Account is shocking and totally untrue.

“The comments reflect, once again, the unfortunate tendency of some political players to politicise the management of the economy on the basis of half-truths and sundry distortions.

“This is not good for the country. There should be a limit to negative politics even during an election season such as this.

“Governor Oshiomhole’s sweeping comments give the impression that the Federal Government sits alone in secret and doles out whatever it wishes to the states from the Federation Account.”

The minister minister added, “But anyone who is familiar with the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee process knows that this is simply not true.

“The meetings are held every month and Commissioners of Finance and other officials represent their states and agreements are reached on issues including the sharing of proceeds from the Account.

“There is no $30bn missing from the Excess Crude Account as alleged by Governor Oshiomhole. How can such a huge amount be missing from the ECA and the Edo State governor will be the only one privy to this?”

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