Stacks of US fifty and one hundred dollar bills in money bag

Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC has denied allegation that it approved the withdrawal from Excess Crude (Foreign) Account the sum of two billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00).
It said that FAAC does not have the authority to approve withdrawals from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), therefore could not have approved the withdrawal.
In swift response, tagged “needless persecution of Okonjo Iweala”, Media Adviser to Dr Okonjo-Iweala, Mr. Paul C Nwabuikwu said “For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did Dr. Okonjo-Iweala say that FAAC approved such expenditures. What she said was that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states. It is therefore clear that there was no misrepresentation by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.”
An unsigned press statement circulated by one Philip Angulu, attributing it to Forum of Commissioners of Finance, while many states in the federation are yet to constitute their cabinets said “It has come to our notice the statement credited to the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Honorable Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) approved the withdrawal from Excess Crude (Foreign) Account the sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00). This statement is far from the fact and is misleading.
“We wish to state unequivocally that FAAC does not have the authority to approve withdrawals from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), therefore could not have approved the withdrawal from Excess Crude (Foreign) Account the sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00).
“According to the law setting up FAAC, which pre-dates the ECA, it cannot approve withdrawal and has not done so in the past. If anything FAAC, as records of it meetings indicates, had often queried the activities on the ECA, and therefore did not decide any withdrawal.
“Indeed, FAAC noted and observed accordingly withdrawal from the ECA of a total sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00) in December.
“The then Minister of State Finance and Chairman of FAAC when asked during the plenary of FAAC meetings of the respective months explained that the former President gave approval for the withdrawals from the ECA to pay oil marketers subsidy claims as they had threaten to stop importing petroleum products. He further explained that this action will be ratified by NEC. ”It should be noted, therefore, that FAAC did not and could not have approved nor taken the decision to withdraw the sum of Two Billion U.S. Dollar ($2,000,000,000.00) from the Excess Crude Account.
“We would want to excuse the Honourable Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala on this misrepresentation because she was not in attendance during FAAC plenary and may not have been fully and adequately made abreast with every FAAC activity.”
Mr. Nwabuikwu thanked the Finance Commissioners for their clarification on the use of the ECA and for “acknowledging that this is not an Okonjo-Iweala issue.”
He said the statement clearly shows that Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) is a statutory body which is chaired by the Hon. Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.
“Payments made were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by Mr. President.Therefore there is no question of mismanaging any resources here.
“The question before us is: why is there such an excessive attempt to batter her name in an attempt to damage her reputation? It is clear as I said in my previous statement that the motive is malicious and very political and therefore will not succeed.
“If monies were used to pay for subsidies for the Nigerian people and duly approved, why is Okonjo-Iweala’s name being battered in this way? This persecution should stop,” said Mr. Nwabuikwu.


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