From $2.1 billion left by Jonathan, Buhari depletes excess crude account to $60 million

President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime has announced that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance as of October stands at $60, 857,773.43, a drastic depletion from the $2.1 billion left by Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Clem Agba, the minister of state for budget and national planning gave the update during the national economic council meeting at the State House in Abuja on Friday, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, spokesperson to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

“Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance as at 13th October 2021 stands at $60, 857,773.43; Stabilisation Account, balance as at 13th October stands at N25,009,892,511.55; Development of Natural Resources Account balance as at 13th October 2021 stands at N56,144,024,000.71,” the statement said.

As of July 13, NEC announced that the excess account balance stood at $60.8 million while stabilisation account was N26.3 billion with the natural resources account balance standing at N23.5 billion.

The ECA, created in 2004 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the sole aim of saving oil revenue in excess of the budgeted benchmark, stood at $3.6 billion in February 2014, one of the highest balances on record.

In 2015, the former minister of finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that the country earned $61.7 billion (about N12.3 trillion) as excess crude oil money between 2011 and 2015.

The minister said Nigeria earned about $18.14 billion in 2011; $18.16 billion in 2012; $15.19 billion in 2013; $8.01 billion in 2014, and $2.17 billion in 2015.

As of August 2015, after Mr Buhari assumed office, it stood at $2.2 billion but it gradually depleted.

The Central Bank of Nigeria in its 2018 report said that the country’s excess crude account fell from $2.45 billion in 2017 to $480 million as of December 2018.

Statistics from the ministry of finance had also revealed that the Buhari regime withdrew N1.5 trillion (about $4.92bn) between 2015 and 2019 from the account. $1 billion was withdrawn in 2017 on basis that it will be used to procure arms and train personnel in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.

A 2020 analysis by BudgIT, a civic organisation had indicated that Nigeria’s excess crude oil under Mr Buhari stood at $631 million in December 2018, $324 million in October 2019, and fell to $70 million in February 2020.

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