Presidency gives more details on $1b excess crude fund

July 23, 2019
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The Presidency has given further details on how it disbursed the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for security was spent.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday gave a breakdown of the N876.9 million already spent from the money domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to him, a balance of $123,111,571.29 remained unspent at the CBN.

The withdrawal became a subject of controversy between the Presidency and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following a demand by the latter for explanation on what happened to the cash withdrawn in 2017.

Spokesman to the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, had at a news conference on Sunday, alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) used the $1 to fund its campaigns for the last general elections.

The President’s spokesman in a reaction to the PDP allegation, promised to shed more light on how the cash was applied.

Shehu said: “Here is as much detail as we can provide at this time concerning the $1 billion from the ECA which withdrawal was authorised by the National Economic Council (NEC).

“The record we have is that the Buhari administration paid $496,374,470 for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft for the Air Force in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with the government of the United States of America. They are due for delivery in 2020.

“Other military procurements for critical equipment have been made. These are for the Nigerian Army (NA) and the Nigerian Navy, (NN) amounting to $380, 513,958,71.

“These procurements include money for the purchase of Navy Lynx helicopters. Total amount spent so far: $876,888,428.71. The equipment paid for have due dates of delivery of between six months to two years.

“Balance of the money that is unspent as at today is $123,111,571.29.”

Read Also: How to end crude oil theft, by expert

The Presidential spokesman said that the entire expenditure involved in these exercises is on the basis of government-to-government procurement.

He added: “In cases where the Nigerian government dealt with equipment manufacturers, their home governments have in all cases given guarantees to the federal government.

“Again, it is important to stress that no contractors or commission agents have been involved in the procurements under discussion.

“All $1 billion was domiciled in the CBN and to date, not a single dollar of it has been transferred to the Ministry of Defence or any other ministry, agency of government, individuals or political party office as was the norm under the PDP administration.

“We note that the PDP made so much of a report claiming that the National Security Adviser, NSA had declared the entire amount of $1 billion on as missing. The NSA could not have said this.

“I’m sure we have the correct story to tell. Without approval of end-user certification as issued by his office, no arms can lawfully enter Nigeria.

“In these days of fake news, citizens including political parties pretending to the role opposition parties must be careful about the reports they work with.”

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