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Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account depleted as govt withdraws $25m in three month

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Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account is almost empty and could just be left empty soon if the Federal government should make one more big withdrawal.

On Friday, the The National Economic Council (NEC) revealed that the Excess Crude Account, which is oil savings now stands at $35,868,086.40 as at 17th January 2022.

The new figure means that from October 2021 when the account was at $60,857,773.43($60.8m) FG dipped its hands into ECA account and withdrew $24.98 million in less than three months.

It also means in the last six years under the present administration over $2 billion has been pulled out from the account.

Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, who provided the latest update on the excess crude account also revealed that the stabilization account balance was at N30,685,611,413.79 while development of natural resources account balance also dropped to N42,820,382,381.40.

Read also: Nigerian govt withdraws 97% from Excess Crude Account worth $2.13bn in six years

In defence of the depetion of the account, Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media on Friday said: “For those pointing out ECA was $2.1B in 2015, keep in mind $1 billion went to security purchases (incl 12 Super Tucano).

“Part went to Paris Club Refunds to States and a substantial portion invested into the Sovereign Wealth Fund/NSIA.”

On his Twitter handle he also stressed that the ECA was once $20 billion in 2009 before depleting to $2 billion in 2015.

The ECA is a savings account retained by the Federal Government and is funded by the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budgeted price of crude oil as contained in the appropriation bill.

Despite oil trading above 2020 budget benchmark, oil production difficulties means Nigeria not only paid more for subsidy, it earned less selling crude.

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