The newly-appointed Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, is in deep shit over his claim before State House Correspondents on Monday July 6 that the $1.7 billion the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) be shared among the three tiers of government was a final drawdown from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
But the Presidency on Tuesday furiously disowned Idris over the information and said the ECA is still intact.
Idris had told newsmen that what was left in the ECA was $1.6 to $1.7 billion and was going to be shared among the three tiers of government based on approved formula as agreed in the last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.
Asked by journalists what he met in the account, Idris said, ”It is hovering between $1.6 to $1.7 billion, and that is what we are going to distribute among all the three tiers of governments, the federal, states and local governments based on the approved formula.”
However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described as incorrect that funds will be drawn from the ECA for the relief package approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for states and local governments.
Adesina said: ”For the purpose of greater clarity on the matter, the measures approved by President Buhari to deal with the problem of unpaid public sector salaries in many states are as follows:
*The sharing of the $2.1 Billion dividend paid to the Federation Account by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG);
* A Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from N250 Billion to N300 Billion. This will be a soft loan available to states for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries; and
*A debt relief program designed by the Debt Management Office which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660 Billion, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
”The measures approved by President Buhari definitely do not include drawing down the remaining balance in the Excess Crude Account or the ”liquidation” of the account as some media outlets have wrongly reported.
”No such decision has been taken or approved by President Buhari, and last week’s meeting of the National Economic Council clearly concluded that the Excess Crude Account should be left untouched at this time,” Adesina added.
But in a clear PR for the embattled Idris, a statement from the Office of the AGF on Tuesday afternoon, the Head and Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Kenechukwu N. Offie, said: ”The Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, has noted with great concern that the information in the public domain is inconsistent with the details of the amount distributed at the emergency Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting held on Monday 6th July 2015.
”Consequently, it has become necessary to provide further clarification about the outcome of the said emergency FAAC meeting:
a. That the amount distributed was not from the Excess Crude Account ECA but rather the accrued company income tax (CIT) realised from the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) N359, 374,355, 607.60
b. That the amount that was distributed was less the cost of collection
c. the Federal government got 56.68% amounting to N181,745,674,112.72
d. the State governments got 26.72% amounting to N92,183,834,705.62
e. local government councils got 20.60% amounting to N71,069,872,564.96.
”The Accountant-General of the Federation Alhaji Ahmed Idris makes this clarification in order to provide Nigerians with the correct and authentic information about the outcome of the proceedings at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting held on Monday 6th July 2015.
”The public is also invited to please note that no withdrawal was made from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and that the current balance still remains $2.1 billion.”
– Metro Watch