The National Economic Council, NEC yesterday disclosed that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari inherited about N14 billion Abacha loot from the immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Briefing State House Correspondents after yesterday’s council meeting, Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom said the council was given updates on recoveries from monies stolen by late military head of state, General Sani Abacha, popularly known as Abacha loot.
“We were also briefed on updates on Abacha loots in council. The Accountant General of the Federation reported that the dollar account as at November 2015 ending has a balance of $26, 389, 000 (Twenty Six Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand Dollars) while the pounds sterling has a balance of £19, 000, 033. That is where we are today,” he said.
According to Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, who was at the press briefing , the council was also briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris on the reports of the Excess Crude Proceeds.
In his words: “The Accountant General of the Federation reported to council that the Excess Crude Account, ECA stood at $2.257 billion as at the end of November, 2015.
“He also reported a slight change against the previous balance with an interest which is due, of $599, 137, 467 into the account as accrued interest.
“We were also briefed on the report of the federal government agencies that are collecting revenue in foreign currencies and were remitting the monies in Naira equivalent into the Federation Account, which is not allowed.
“So the Ministry of Finance is working on the details to pass it to the council with a comprehensive report on the agencies that are involved, which will later be made known to the public,” he further explained.
The Council told state governors to look inward to generate revenues they would need to run their states as global oil prices continue its free fall.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma said, in addition to exploring IGR to get resources to run their states, Federal Government also called on state governments to block wastes and be prudent in the management of their resources.
He said, “In Council today, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning made a presentation on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategic Paper (FSP).
“The reports highlighted the government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years.
“We also briefed council about government revenue and expenditure projections for the next three years. We briefed council about our view in terms of the global outlook and micro-economic frame work and the key assumptions underlining our projections.
“The presentation urged the states to adopt the MTEF and FSP which has now been approved by the National Assembly, which is the only body that can approve it.
“But we urged them to adopt it as a basis for the developing of their annual budgets. We also emphasised the need for states to be guided by the assumptions of the MTEF and also the need for states to be conservative in their expenditure and their expenditure projections for 2016-2018, in view of the declining oil price.
“We also urged states to look towards, enhancing their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) and blocking financial leakages in the system and generally we emphasised the need in planning for the economy for the federal and state governments to work very closely with government because we are dealing with one economy,” he disclosed.
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal said the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele briefed the council on monetary policy of the Federal Government.
He said: “The CBN governor gave an update on monetary policy measures on foreign exchange strategy and he told the council the challenges being faced by many countries as a result of the global economy recession.
“He also reported that the drop in the oil prices has caused serious pressure on Nigeria’s reserve which currently stands at $29 billion.
“He also briefed the council on monetary policy among others as follows; the deduction of cash reserve ratio from 25 percent to 20 percent, the measure on forex market and Bank Verification Number (BVN), considering the introduction of debit card for travelers instead of cash exchange demands to reduce cash for illicit businesses, and also looking at option to diversify the economy away from oil, “ he stated.


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