Why we don’t need National Assembly approval to release $1 billion from ECA — Nigerian govt

Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris (middle) presenting details of revenue allocation to the three tiers of government at the December 2017 meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, in Abuja on Saturday. With him are Mahmood Yinusa (right) and a Finance Ministry official.

There is no going back on the supposed instructions by the 36 states governors for withdrawal of $1 billion from the excess crude revenue account for the fight against Boko Haram, despite dissent by Ekiti State counterpart, Ayo Fayose, the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Ahmed Idris, said Saturday.

Mr. Idris was speaking in Abuja at the special Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meeting for December where members resolved to share a total of N609.96 billion for the month.

The meeting was held a week earlier than usual to allow the three tiers of government pay their workers on time before the coming Christmas season and New Year celebrations.

Giving details of the allocations, Mr. Idris said gross statutory revenue stood at N549.5 billion, which was higher by N106.5 billion than about N443.05 billion realized in October.

The AGF said there was a decrease of about $69.49 million in revenue due to a reduction in crude oil production for the month by about 1.75 million barrels.

However, with average crude oil price increase from $48.66 per barrel to $52.07, the AGF said, made up for the shortfall, with the country earning extra $3.41 from every barrel of oil exported for the month.

He identified facility maintenance, sabotage and force majeure declared at the Bonny export terminal by Shell as some of the issues that negatively impacted crude oil production during the month.

On non-oil revenue, he noted a significant increase in earnings from import duty, company income tax, CIT, and Royalty.

The balance in the Petroleum Profit Tax, PPT account stood at about $133 million, while Value Added Tax, VAT revenue was about N77.209 billion, from N80.42 billion, after deduction of cost of collection by the relevant agencies.

Consequently, total distributable statutory revenue for the month, including VAT stood at N609.96 billion.

A breakdown of the revenue shared for the month showed that the Federal Government took a total of N248.23 billion, or 52.68 per cent; 36 states (N125.9 billion, or 26.72 per cent; 776 Local Government Council N97.07 billion, or 20.6 per cent, while N43.22 billion went to the oil producing states as 13 per cent derivation.

Besides, the revenue agencies, namely Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, received N5.24 billion or 4 per cent; the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS,N4.23 billion, or 7 per cent, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR N3.65 billion or 4 per cent as cost of collection.

ECA Withdrawal

Although the balance in the excess crude revenue account remained at $2.317 billion as at December 15, the AGF said the $1 billion the 36 state governors approved last week to procure arms to fight Boko Haram was yet to be withdrawn.

“There is a process that needs to be followed before money is withdrawn from the account. The instruction needs to be given before money is taken. Unless it is taken, the balance in the account remains the same as at the reporting date, which is December 15, 2017,” he explained.

On whether there was budgetary appropriation by the National Assembly for the withdrawal of the $1 billion, the AGF said since the governors of the 36 states of the federation had reached a consensus before giving approval, no other requirement was necessary.

“Ordinarily, savings in the ECA should have been distributed to the three tiers of government, who are the owners of the money. So, if the same owners decide that part of the money be utilised to provide security for life and property in the country or make the system work, I don’t think there is any issue in that,” he said.

“The entire Federation have decided. There is an instruction and directive to that effect. There is a consensus; a common position and no dissenting voice, we (FAAC) have no option than to go with the directive as given,” he added.

Asked about Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who issued a statement in the media to reject the decision by the Governors’ Forum on the withdrawal, the AGF urged the governor to direct his protest to his colleagues.

“I don’t know about Ekiti State governor as a dissenting voice. He should have made his position known to the Governors’ Forum. His dissention should not come to the AGF, or on the pages of media. He is entitled to his opinion though. But, he should direct it to the appropriate forum,” he said.

On the details of what the money would be utilised for, the AGF told PREMIUM TIMES to direct its inquiries to the appropriate government agency responsible for the exercise – the military.

“I am not part of the military. I am not in the theatre of war. I do not know their needs. The military know where to apply the money. That is why the question should be directed to them,” he said.

Giving an update on the payment of the Paris Club loan refund, the AGF said so far 27 of the 36 states have received their refunds, while the others were still in process of being paid.

The chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum, Mahmood Yinusa, said with the early distribution of the revenue for December, the challenge would be for the various states to ensure their workers were given a good Christmas with prompt payment of the salary for the month.


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  • Intrepid

    IMPUNITY a la Buhari.

  • emmanuel

    This is what happens when cows run a country as President, Accountant General, Attorney General and Auditor General, supported by mixed breed of cow and sheep as National Assembly leader – Senate President.
    An Accountant General who talks like an illiterate that he is.
    Nigeria has fallen and no sane foreign Investor can trust his funds in a country where monies are spent without recourse to the constitution.
    Never again should a foolani man lead Nigeria, because they only have cattle leading strategies which they also apply in governance.

    • Lanre

      Hello Emmanuel. It is really sad. The situation is heart breaking. Nigeria is made up of Ethnic Groups, with significantly different cultures, languages and religious affiliation. In addition to the World Bank funding that Buhari has instructed be sent strictly to the North-East, In addition to the creation of a Development Commission, the Buhari Government is committing 1 billion dollars from the Excess Crude Oil account (which belongs to the Niger-Delta). With arrant insensitivity and arrogance while the Head of the Army from the same region is accused of owning property in foreign countries. One billion dollars is not small money (Ko ki n se omode owo) and for how long are we going to continue this relationship where those who do not produce/generate revenue end up spending it. Boko Haram was the creation of Governor of the Northern States who wanted to introduce pure Sharia and islamise their part of the world. Why should Niger Delta pay for that? This is how injustice leads to conflict. Please find my comments on this matter, reprinted her for your convenience:
      ***********************************************************************************************************************************
      Now I know why some Igbos insult Yorubas that we are the ones enabling the Hausa Fulani to ride rough shod over other ethnic groups.. How is the ECA derived? From proceeds of the export of Crude Oil found in the Niger Delta. Now the same proceeds, over half of it is being used to fund a program that Lai Mohammed tells us is no longer existent (Boko Haram has been defeated). And Yemi Osinbajo, a Professor of Law superintends this with Godwin Obaseki , an Edo Man announcing the largesse.
      You cannot be a slave if your own kinsmen don’t sell you.

      • marc umeh

        You are absolutely correct. I blame it ALL on the Yoruba race. They love to go with the “ winner “. Their moral ambiguity is obvious. They claim to be the most educated but education does not guarantee character.

  • Agba

    only God can save Nigeria in this CALAMITY leader

  • Roland

    Buhari is a huge joke! What a country, what a people!

  • Dawood

    PDP and that thief and thug Fayose should be ashamed of themselves. The FG is responsible for our security, and I support them spending whatever they have to for our security. When the PDP were in this same position, they stole and distributed the the monies amongst themselves. Thousands of Nigerians were slaughtered while those thieving PDP bastards spent that money on fancy houses, fancy cars, and fancy prostitutes. If the clime isn’t so conducive to corruption, Nigerians would be demanding that PDP go on an apology tour to Nigerians and black people in general. I do worry about giving the money to the thieving governors, however. These thieves will end up some spending that money on their stomach security and dick enjoyment first. I just wished that Buhari controlled all if it.

    • emmanuel

      This is a case of rob my back, i rob your back. The $1 billion is meant for outright looting, same way the tranches of the so-called Paris Club fund is stolen by the governors.
      So much monies have been released for the NE reconstruction, yet there is nothing on ground to that effect. This is yet another.
      Buhari is a kleptomaniac. What is he doing with the NNPC N50 billion he held back from TSA? What a stinking thieve?

    • De Gea Messi

      In all you wrote, you made NO mention of the constitution. Not a SINGLE mention.
      Anything buhari does wether constitutional or not is worth cheering by your lot. That’s what you call integrity. Funny..most of you guys comment out of sentiments. What if this decision is tested in court..and it goes against your ‘gods’ decision. You will all run to hide.
      Shame.
      You ‘wished buhari controlled all of it’?
      Lol!
      Bro, he controls ALL of the petroleum ministry..but the stench oozing out isn’t smelling good at all!
      Let the constitution be your reference point bro..not sentiments. That’s how countries develop..not by ‘body language’.

    • marc umeh

      I pray everyday that oil will cease to provide easy money for a nation that produces nothing. Then the argument will change.

      • tundemash

        Amen. When there was no oil, there was groundnut and cocoa that was used to search for the oil. When the oil ceases, Nigeria will still exist.

  • De Gea Messi

    Yet another BIG FAT LIE from the pit of hell..sorry APC.
    Very soon premium times will do another ‘fact check’ and expose APC’s intractable lying disease.
    Shame!

  • emmanuel

    The very corrupt Buhari is celebrating 73rd birthday in some places and 75th in other places. That is how to know a fraudster

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Buhari does not know his birthday.

  • Lanre

    Now I know why some Igbos insult Yorubas that we are the ones enabling the Hausa Fulani to ride rough shod over other ethnic groups.. How is the ECA derived? From proceeds of the export of Crude Oil found in the Niger Delta. Now the same proceeds, over half of it is beong used to fund a program that Lai Mohammed tells us is no longer existent (Boko Haram has been defeated). And Yemi Osinbajo, a Professor of Law superintends this with Godwin Obaseki , an Edo Man announcing the largesse.
    You cannot be a slave if your own kinsmen don’t sell you.

    • tundemash

      Mr. Tribal Warlord, i guess the Governors Forum is also made up of only Yoruba and Hausa Govs. Wike, Dickson and others are from Sokoto and Ogun states.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Please civil society should go to court to challenge this criminal allocation of public funds.THE NASS SHOULD PLEASE STOP BETRAYING THE MASSES AND STOP THE LOOTING.

    FAYOSE FOR PRESIDENT 2019

    FAYOSE STANDS WITH THE SUFFERING MASSES

    • tundemash

      Desperate losers would hang unto anything. It was initially Biafra or death, later it was you will not participate in any election in the “zoo” and now it is Fayose for 2019. You have no principle cl0wn !

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Stick to the topic or keep mute.

  • marc umeh

    After this $1billion , when will the next billion allocation come up ? This money is not to rebuild the northeast , It is to buy weapons, Where do Boko haram get the money for their own weapons ?

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Well they are presently sharing the same armoury with Boko-haram… considering the huge haul of Nigerian Army weapons captured in the last few weeks

      • ed

        The Northern sell weapons to Islamic Boko Haram, just don’t let Kay Soyemi know about it.
        The born slave are under the sharia caliphate brainwashing machine.

    • Krai beloved country

      @marcumeh:disqus

      Buhari does not need one billion dollars to fight Boko Haram.

      This is stealing and corruption; which Nigerians must protest.

      Buhari will soon finish off Nigeria’s treasury if care is not taken.

      Buhari is a bandit who lives by plunder – a counterfeit Messiah!!

      • Opekete

        Even when GEJ spent 2.5 billion dollars on a war he himself was a mere propaganda by his political distractors. I use to wonder sometime if we deliberately choose to allow our memory to function when it suites our whims.

        • Okey Agugua

          I thought we voted for a change

          • Opekete

            You voted for change not inaction.

          • whereto

            Exactly why reasonable people have no problem with this expenditure. Those making irrelevant noise applauded and participated in gej’s invasion of CBN’s vaults with numerous bullion vans. Well, news is their dream days are long gone.

  • Okey Agugua

    They are on a looting spree.

    • Segun Bello

      @okeyagugua:disqus;

      Muhamadu Buhari is indeed on a looting spree and he must be stopped
      forthwith. Nigeria is not a banana republic for the looting of one billion
      dollars by trick. All workers and all students must mobilize for the mother of
      all strikes to be rid of this bane and burden rolled into one, called Muhamadu
      Buhari – a 75 year old rustic yokel with only Primary Six certificate to show
      as his evidence of schooling and who therefore ranks as the most illiterate
      president in the world right now; compared to the presidents of all other
      countries. Buhari has no good intention for Nigerians. He came to loot
      for Muslims in northern Nigeria. Buhari is a toxic president of Nigeria.

      • ed

        Can imagine the man said he doesn’t know what the money is for, but we must give them the money because the Northerners said so.
        The treacherous coward governors from the south rubber stamp the corruption.

    • Otunba

      This Country is really suffering from the hands of its enemies. The Country seems very unfortunate altogether!

  • ed

    The most clear evidence that President Buhari is the Godfather of corruption. We don’t have any plan for the money other than sharing it and to be use for reelection.

  • Ishaku isaac

    Wow! Then the looting spree has just began?!! I’m scared to the bones!!!

    • kinsly

      What looting?

  • FineBoy

    To the pure all things are pure. To the contaminated even the pure is in pure, so says the Bible.

    The corrupt see corruption in every step the Govt take. Even open announcement is corruption.

    Thank God today is Sunday, better repent and be converted because God judges the heart and intent of the heart.

    God bless Nigeria.
    God bless PMB

  • KELLOGGS

    Buhari is a very unique person; he is one individual that has not a single virtue about him. He has no honor whatsoever; he is very wicked to the core. Even tho Nigeria gave him many chances to change, and become a force for good, a statesman, and so on; it never crossed his mind. His heart is shut by God.

    I give you a year to come up with one goodness about Buhari.

    He is NOT a Nigerian. Him and his people are making a mockery of Africa, and Nigeria in particular. ALL Nigerians who like to worship Arabs, or slightly light skinned people, will always take this nonsense from Fulanis, who don’t consider themselves to be blacks, or even Africans. They say they are Arabs. So, why not let them go to their people, and leave us alone?

  • Kenny

    Lots of monies gone into the fight against insurgency: North East Intervention Fund + donations from United States, France, UK etc. Soldiers welfare is nothing to write home about; our soldiers are often outwitted by the insurgents because their morale is low. Commanders of the theatre are getting richer everyday. When would this war against BH end? Not in sight! Generals are making a whole lot of money from this counter-insurgency drama in a “chop-and-clean-mouth’ style. Another clear indication that PMB is a very gullible Commander-in-Chief whose incompetence and lack of administrative acumen knows no bounds! !

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    All monetary requirements by any civilize modern government, must be appropriated by the legislature of such country nor matter how urgent the need may be as such an unconstitutional spending of tax-payers funds is uncalled for these days and time in our history as such act would be seen as unprecedented by future generations.
    The fact is National Assembly, legislators seemed to have failed in their duties with their lukewarm attitude of maintaining strict check and balance acts on the executive arm of the Federal Government.
    Even, in USA, president Donald J.Trump, would not dare ever to touch any public funds not appropriated by the congress. NNPC, requires urgent restructuring and strict monitoring by the oil/gas committee, in the senate and house of representatives.A lot of our public revenues are continued to be imprudently expended by the group managing director,Dr. Baru without any accountability by the National Assembly.

    • forestgee

      Approval is not needed for looting!

  • Ishaku isaac

    State Governors giving instructions for the withdrawal of money from the Nation’s treasury?!!
    We are in big mess. The loot has just started. All People’s Corruption galore!!!
    Wow! I’m scared to the bones. No. Mr. President NO.

    • Chuma Anierobi

      I am with you my countryman.

  • Isyaku Muhammad

    Nigerian Government you are right for not seeking Assemblies approval, it’s wasting of time.

  • Chuma Anierobi

    How many agencies handle own money with regards to accounting and reporting? Was there no money in the budget for arms purchases?
    This crazy lie will not fly.

  • Pluti

    PMB loosing re-election credibility, no process, just plain simple aye to withdrawal. Nigeria’s future……

  • ed

    What’s your point. President Buhari corruption and impunity enjoy your support.
    Unfortunately you’re unable to defend the insult on all knowledgable Nigerian intelligence by the one billion dollars scam.

  • Gary

    Well,there we have it folks!
    The Accountant-General of the Federation, an Executive Branch crony, has unilaterally ousted the Constitutional jurisdiction of the National Assembly on Appropriations and even the Supreme Court to interprete the Law of the Land.

    By this novel reasoning, Buhari and the 36 Governors control the Nigerian Treasury and as owners of the money, they can decide whatever they want to do with it.
    And they gave instructed him to draw down the ECA by a whopping billion dollars to fight Boko Haram that the regime is on record at home and abroad to have defeated as a credible insurgency. And Fayose and the rest of the people can go to hell if they don’t like it.

    This is what passes for upholding the rule of law, due process and fighting corruption in Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari.
    And he expects to subject Nigeria to four more years of this in 2019, when he will officially turn 77. Kashimawo, as the Yorubas say.

    • Sir Demo

      It is pseudo analysts like you that keep confusing the supposed law makers and gullible nigerians. I will take you on the legal technicalities raised and not the morality of the withdrawal.

      Will you tell us if NASS appropriation ever extends to federation account? The duty is limited only to the federal government budget. Or do they also control the monthly allocations/sharing?

  • grand maze

    Since fayose is not in support, the least they should have done is deduct his own share and pay it to his state account. I don’t know why fayose is not taking the FG, accountant general and governors forum to court for this constitutional aberration

  • ed

    You’re as ignorant as they come.
    Who gives a dime who you count among your fellow miserable idiots as semi intelligent.
    Your meaningless comments left a lot to be desired.
    Gutter value that you’re known to celebrate has zero value in the real world.
    Shameless Fulani cow worshipper.