15 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Governors from Nigeria’s 36 states have approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by the federal government to be used in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.
This was revealed by the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki while briefing State House correspondents after the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) which held inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa Abuja.
The meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Mr. Obaseki said the approval was announced during the 83rd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting by the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari.
The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to Nigeria’s accountant general.
Obaseki said, “We are pleased with the federal government achievements in the insurgency war and in that vein state governors have approved that the sum of $1 billion be taken from the excess crude account by the federal government to fight the insurgency war to its conclusion.
“The money will cover the whole array of needs which includes purchase of equipment, training for military personnel and logistics,” he told reporters after a meeting of Nigeria’s national economic council.”
The release of such a large sum could raise concerns over corruption, endemic in Nigeria.
The next presidential and gubernatorial national elections are scheduled for February and March 2019. Historically, the run-up to elections has seen rampant graft and theft of public funds as politicians build war chests to contest the vote.
The insurgency in the northeast is in its ninth year. Deadly attacks on the military and civilians continue, and large areas are out of government control.
The Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo, who spoke earlier, said the Excess Crude Account had a balance of $2.317 billion as at December 13, 2017.