Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refuted reports alleging that $1.03 billion is missing from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), saying it is totally inaccurate.
Special Adviser to the minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, in statement, said: “Recent media reports making such allegations are a misrepresentation of what actually transpired during the appearance of the minister before an open hearing of the joint Finance Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.”
According to the statement, “The minister had responded forthrightly to questions on the current level of the ECA and there was no disagreement as such. The balance in the account as stated by the minister is $4.3 billion. The media are therefore advised to seek information and clarification when in doubt rather than go to town with sensational headlines.”
It will be recalled that a recent report had indicated that the Federal Government and the Senate disagreed over the whereabouts of $1.03 billion Excess Crude Funds.
The alleged disagreement followed the disclosure by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance that the balance in the Excess Crude Account amounted to $4.3 billion.
The minister did not, however, say the total accrual to the account at a Joint Senate Committee of Finance and Appropriation meeting on the 2013 budget and Federal Government revenue-generating agencies.
A member of the committee, Senator Ita Enang, who was apparently unimpressed by the minister’s disclosure noted that records available to the committee showed the total inflow into the Escrow account was $14.06 billion while the total outflow from the account was $9