Nigeria’s excess crude account is supposed to be a buffer for the rainy day. The ECA as it is popularly called represents the difference between the actual revenue collected from sale of crude and the amount that was budgeted. The difference is set up by default to be a surplus and is typically kept aside to be spent in times of economic crunch.
Now that we are facing one of the toughest economic crisis in recent times people are wondering why the so ECA is nothing to write home about. Even an outgoing Governor, Rotimi Amaechi as alleged that about $20 billion is missing.
In response the outgoing Coordinating Minister of the Economy has given an explanation of how the money was spent (or is it shared) between 2011 and 2014.
As Thisday reports, the 36 states of the federation shared a total of N2.92 trillion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) between 2011 and 2014. The federal government’s share of the allocation from the ECA in the same period was put at N3.29 trillion.
The article cited information released Sunday by the Federal Ministry of Finance saying state governments received the sum of N966.6 billion in 2011, N816.3 billion in 2012, N859.4 billion in 2013 and N282.8 in 2014. The report also listed some of the states below as recipients
States that got the most money
Akwa Ibom – N265 billion
Rivers – N230.4 billion
Delta – N216.7 billion
Bayelsa – N176.3 billion
Kano – N106.5 billion
Lagos – N82.9 billion
States that got the least
Kwara – N52.8 billion
Enugu – N51.6 billion
Gombe – N47.7 billion
Nassarawa – N46.9 billion
Ekiti N46.8 billion
Ebonyi – N44.3 billion
The summary of the inflows and outflows from the ECA showed the opening balance at $4.56 billion in 2011 and reached a peak of $8.7 billion in 2012 before declining to $2.3 billion in 2013. The balance of the ECA as at May 2015 was put at $2.07 billion.
The ministry further argued that the fluctuation in the ECA reflected the sharing of the proceeds usually requested by state governors as well as the practice of augmentation- which involves additional sharing from the ECA when available funds are not adequate to meet revenue projections. Additionally, subsidy and SURE-P payments are also made from the ECA. The amount shared to states from the ECA is usually in addition to their constitutionally approved receipts from the Federation Account. According to the figures, the low figure shared for 2014 reflected the steep decline in revenues due to the impact of the crash in global oil prices which began in the middle of the year.