Amaechi Collected N257b From The $20 Billion, Okonjo-Iweala Tells NGF
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has accused former chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Rivers State of collecting N257b from the alleged missing $20b oil proceeds, insisting there is no missing money anywhere.
Ngozi however expressed surprise at the call by NGF for her to account for $20billion Excess Crude Account.
Reacting to the governors’ call at the end of their forum’s meeting Tuesday morning, Paul Nwabuikwu, special adviser to the finance minister said in a statement that there was no basis for the call.
“It has come to our attention that governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum have requested that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance should account for an estimated $20 billion oil revenue from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) from June 2013 to April 2015. There is no basis for the demand and the stated amount.
“The statement by the governors is totally strange because FAAC meets every month and the ECA is discussed at every session with all the state Commissioners of Finance present. Nothing is hidden. At these meetings the Honorable Minister of State who is the Chair of FAAC announces the balance in the ECA which is then discussed. So governors who want any information about the ECA should ask for details from their Commissioners who should have the records of what was discussed and agreed upon. Details of the ECA are also published every month along with the allocations to the three tiers of government.
“The reference to June 2013 in the statement is probably because the National Economic Council last met in May 2013. But this is immaterial because the FAAC meetings during which the ECA and similar issues are discussed have generally held regularly every month.
The minister said “It is interesting that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who was reported to have read the communique on behalf of the governors made a similar unsubstantiated allegation in November 2013 that $5 billion was missing from the ECA. We subsequently showed with facts that not only was the amount not missing, Rivers State received N257.6 billion from the Federation Account between January and October 2013, the second highest among the states, of which N56.2 billion from the Excess Crude Account was a part.
“In the interest of transparency and accountability, and to throw more light on this issue, the Federal Ministry of Finance will publish details of the ECA for the last four years within the next few days,”the statement said.