The federal government withdrew $1.68 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in one month leaving a balance of $631 million in the strategic Excess Crude Account as at 19th December 2018.
The ECA is a buffer account held in trust by the government to cushion the effects of economic volatilities during hard times.However, the federal government said it swept the account of 72.7% of the original savings to off-set the last tranche of the Paris Club obligations to states.
Addressing journalists at the end of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday,Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa Dutse disclosed that the balance in the ECA now stands at $631 million.
When asked to clarify the figures, Isa Dutse maintained that the balance in the ECA as at 19th December 2018 is $631million. According to him, “the balance in the ECA is $631 million. The final payment for Paris club refund to states was made and the figure was deducted and that’s what accounts for the difference.”
The shocked reporters then asked him if “we usually remove money from ECA to settle Paris Club refunds?” to which he responded, “a decision was taken to make this refund and part of that decision is that there fund should be funded from the ECA. Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the president approved the money.”
At the last FAAC meeting held in Kaduna in November,what was declared to be left in the ECA was $2.319 billion but by last night the account had been depleted by 72.7% to $631 million.
Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) Mr. Ahmed Idris when accosted by reporters to shed more light on the depletion of the ECA, directed journalists to inquire from the National Assembly if parliamentary approval was given for the withdrawal but insisted that they“followed due process” in depleting the account.
With regards to the monthly FAAC disbursements, Isa Dutse disclosed that a total of N812.762 billion was distributed as Federal Allocation for the month of November 2018 between the Federal, States and Local Government Councils.
The communique issued by the Technical Sub -Committee of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) at the end of its December meeting, indicated that the Gross statutory revenue received wasN649.629 billion. This sum is lower than the N682.161 billion received in the previous month by N32.533 billion.
Breakdown of the total distributable revenue ofN812.762 billion comprised the Statutory Revenue of N649.629billion, Gross Value Added Tax of N92.079billion, Forex Equalisation of N70.000 billion and An Exchange Gain of N1.055 billion.
Therefore, from the Gross statutory revenue, Federal Government received N280.913 billion representing 52.68%; States receivedN142.483 billion representing 26.72%; Local Government Councils receivedN109.848 billion representing 20.60%; while the Oil Producing States receivedN47.882 billion also representing 13% derivation revenue.
Furthermore, the breakdown of distribution to the three tiers from Value Added Tax (VAT), includes: Federal Government receivedN13.259 billion representing 15%; States received N44.198 billion representing50% while the Local Government Councils received N30.938 billion, alsrepresenting 35%.
Meanwhile, the Communique added that the revenue from the Company Income Tax(CIT) increased significantly while revenues from Value Added Tax (VAT), Import Duty, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Foreign Oil and Gas, Domestic Oil and Gas Royalties all decreased.