Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Lawan Ngama
By James Emejo
It emerged Friday that the Excess Crude Account had risen to about $8.4 billion just as N566.5 billion was shared by the three tiers of government for September.
Addressing journalists last night after the monthly meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee in Abuja, Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Lawan Ngama said the gross revenue of N594.7billion was received for the month.
That was higher than the N564.884billion received in the previous month by N29.6billion.
The minister tied the increase in revenue to a rise in crude oil production as well as an increase in the price of crude oil in the international market.
He said: "Income from oil rose by N52.4 billion to N504.2 billion in September from the previous month."
He, however, noted that distributable statutory revenue for the month fell to N453.9 billion.
This, according to him, necessitated an augmentation of N13.008 billion to shore up the shortage.
Also, N35.5billion was also proposed for distribution under the SURE-P Programme.
Also distributed was the N7.6 billion refunded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Ngama said: "The policy government is pursuing is to raise the balance in the account to a certain level of not less than $10billion. This is to ensure that at any time the government has enough revenue to take care of the allocations for at least two months."
He said the Excess crude Accounts had risen to $8.4 billion, up from the $8.03 billion accrued as at the end of August 2012.
He added that the Committee transferred N1.24 billion to the ECA.
The minister stated the importance of shoring up the ECA base in view of the ugly debt crisis situation in the Euro zone, Asian and American economies.
"The Excess Crude Account is supposed to serve as a buffer for the economy. Whenever available revenue is not up to the budgeted figure, government will augment for the health of the economy," he said.