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Commissioners’ stance deepens mystery of $2bn ECA funds



In from Ali Smart…

Members of the forum of Commissioners of Finance rose in unison today charging the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to come clean on how she arbitrarily sought approval from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the withdrawal from Excess Crude (Foreign) Account the sum of $2 billion.

Reacting to Okonjo-Iweala’s claim, the commissioners’ forum in a press statement said “This statement is far from the fact and is misleading.”

The Forum stated unequivocally “that FAAC does not have the authority to approve withdrawals from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), therefore could not have approved the withdrawal from Excess Crude (Foreign) Account the sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00)” while disclosing “that the law setting up FAAC, which pre-dates the ECA, says it cannot approve withdrawal and has not done so in the past.”

According to the forum, “If anything, FAAC, as records of its meetings indicates, had often queried the activities on the ECA, and therefore did not decide any withdrawal.”

The commissioners’ forum said that FAAC noted and observed the “withdrawal from the ECA of a total sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00) in December. The then Minister of State Finance and Chairman of FAAC when asked during the plenary of FAAC meetings of the respective months explained that the former President gave approval for the withdrawals from the ECA to pay oil marketers subsidy claims as they had threatened to stop importing petroleum products. He further explained that this action will be ratified by National Economic Council (NEC).

Read also: Govs want Okonjo-Iweala to account for $20bn ECA fund

“FAAC did not and could not have approved, nor taken the decision to withdraw the sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00) from the Excess Crude Account” the forum said, adding that the forum “would want to excuse the honourable Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala on this misrepresentation because she was not in attendance during FAAC plenary and may not have been fully and adequately made abreast with every FAAC activity.”

It would be recalled that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and some governors had engaged in claims and counter claims of unauthorised withdrawals from the ECA late last year.

The governors had accused Okonjo-Iweala of making an unauthorised withdrawal of $2 billion from the ECA in December 2014 but the former minister had responded by saying that the withdrawal was done with the knowledge of the governors who were represented at FAAC meetings by their commissioners of finance.

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  1. Oise

    July 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Claims and counter-claims. The truth exist and shall be revealed eventually. Only lies are created. We dey watch all of una.

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