Excess Crude Account Shrinks by $1.68bn

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Zainab Ahmed

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) has shrunk from $ 2.319 billion in November 2018 to $631 million as at wednesday, December 19, 2018.

This indicates that the special account recorded a deficit or withdrawals totaling $ 1.68 billion between last month’s Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, which was held in Kaduna and the last one held in Abuja yesterday.

The November FAAC meeting was held in Kaduna at the 2018 Conference of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) where the three tiers of government shared N788.139 billion for the month of October.

Explaining the deficit recorded in the ECA, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, who briefed journalists at the end of the FAAC meeting, said withdrawals were made by the federal government from the ECA to settle the last tranche of the Paris Club refunds.

Isa-Dutse said, “The balance in the ECA is $631million. The final payment for Paris club refund to states was made and the figure was deducted and that’s what accounted for the difference.”

Reminded that it was illegal for deductions to be made for such purpose, he responded: “A decision was taken to make this refund and part of that decision is that the refund should be funded from the ECA.”

He added that the Federal Executive Council and President Muhammadu Buhari approved the withdrawals.

Prodded by journalists to provide more insight on the withdrawals, the Accountant General of Federation ( AGF) Mr. Idris Ahmed, reinforced Isa-Dutse’s position, retorting, “go and ask the National Assembly whether we got approval.”

Meanwhile, the three tiers of government shared a total of N812.762 billion approved for distribution by FAAC for the month of November.

The allocated amount showed a gross statutory revenue of N649.629 billion, a figure lower than the N682.161 billion received in the previous month by N32.533 billion.

The total distributable revenue of N812.762 billion, comprised the statutory revenue of N649.629billion, gross Value Added Tax (VAT) of N92.079 billion, Forex Equalisation of N70.000 billion and An Exchange Gain of N1.055 billion.

Of the Gross statutory revenue, the federal government received N280.913 billion, representing 52.68 per cent; States received N142.483 billion or 26.72 per cent; Local Government Councils–N109.848 billion, representing 20.60 per cent, while the oil producing states received N47.882 billion also representing 13 per cent derivation revenue.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) component showed that the federal government received N13.259 billion (15 per cent); States (N44.198 billion) or 50 per cent while the Local Government Councils received N30.938 billion, also representing 35 per cent.

Revenue from 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 decreased