The Accountant-General of the Federation Ahmed Idris appeared before a senate committee on Finance on Tuesday, March 10, where he gave a breakdown of how President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration decreased the Excess Crude Account from the $2.2 Billion it inherited from Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to having $71.8 million in 2020.
Idris revealed that the Excess Crude Account balance decreased from $2.2 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion in 2016, $2.4 billion in 2017 and $631.4 million in 2018. As at 2019, the ECA balance was $325 million. It however reduced to $71.8 million after $250 million was invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as agreed by the national economic council.
The Accountant-General went further to blame the depletion of the Excess Crude Account on low oil prices, which he said in 2015 the total inflow into the account was $2.35 billion. It increased in 2016 and reduced to $3.68 billion in 2016 and dropped again in 2017 to $3.38 billion. It had a little jump in 2018 to $3.5billion but crashed to as low as $1.01 billion in 2019.
Ahmed Idris also revealed that the President Buhari administration also took out of the ECA an amount of $4million to pay to a particular lawyer as a professional fee, which the administration failed to reveal nor provide any further details of the payment. This disclosure infuriated the seated senators who then decided that Ahmed Idris should return to the Senate at a later date with more information on the payment made to the lawyer and details of the payment.