Nigeria addresses concern over drop in US oil imports

18 February 2013, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama, has addressed growing concern over growing US shale oil output and dwindling volumes of oil imports from Nigeria.

Ngama, who spoke with newsmen at the end of the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja, explained that the anticipated shock that may hit the Nigerian economy has been taken care of in the 2013 budget.

He pointed out that part of the reasons for establishing the Excess Crude Account, ECA was to take care of the possible slowdown in the sale or export of crude oil by Nigeria.

Ngama noted that people encounter crisis when they fail to take care of anticipated events.

He said even though dwindling US oil imports volume from Nigeria would likely have an adverse impact on the economy, there is enough savings to shore up the deficit.

“That is why we don’t really spend all that we earn. We have taken the slight slow down out of the budget.”

“What was left in the ECA at the end of December was $9.24 billion but it was drawn down to $8.24 billion. But it has risen again to $9.2 billion.”

In a related development, N575.464 billion was shared among the three tiers of government for the month of January.

Ngame said the money was shared in line with the existing formula since the 2013 budget is yet to be passed.

The Federal Government received N216.5 billion or 52.68 per cent; while the state governments shared N109.8 billion or 26.72 per cent.

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