Reps Query CBN over Excess Crude Account
Tajudeen Abbas, Speaker

Reps Query CBN over Excess Crude Account

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reveal without delay, all the interests and principal sums on the investments in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) Petroleum Profits (PTT) and Royalty Account to the Auditor-General for the Federation’s Office.

The call was a sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Esosa Iyawe (LP-Edo) at plenary on Thursday. Moving the motion earlier, Iyawe said that the CBN is the banker to the Federal Government and custodian of investment vehicles, including the PPT and the ECA among others.

He said that the 2015 Annual Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation showed that interest of One hundred and $1.82 million dollars was deposited in the ECA as interest on Investments.

According to the lawmaker, there were no details regarding the principal sums deposited, the tenor and the interest rate.

“The CBN has flagrantly and consistently refused the requests by the Auditor-General for the Federation to disclose the details regarding the management of interests accruing from the PPT/ Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account;

“Reports revealed unapproved and indiscriminate withdrawals from the ECA, including current year expenditures, fuel subsidies, debt financing and power projects, all outside the fund’s mandate.

“Disturbed that the 2016 audit report revealed the disappearance of over $9.5 million interest accrued from the PPT investment,” he said.

Iyawe said that obscurity has consistently characterised the management of interests accruing on Federal Government investments, which is in contravention of the accountability principle and points to misuse of much-needed government funds.

The rep said that the ECA has been riddled with controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance.

According to him, its absence of rules governing deposits, withdrawals and investments led to the Natural Resource Governance Institute ranking Nigeria as the second-most poorly governed fund among 34 resource-rich nations.

He said that over the years, the ECA has consistently borne allegations of mismanagement along with a barrage of lawsuits challenging its legality as there is no law backing it.

Iyawe said that experts have raised concerns several times over ECA’s balances which seem to change at will without any corresponding evidence of withdrawals or approvals of such withdrawals.

He said that the lack of transparency from the CBN has significantly affected the revenue accruable to the Federation Account and undermines the Federal Government’s efforts to plug leakages, reduce corruption, and improve revenue for the Federation.

The house resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to determine the legality of ECA and investigate the status and management of all the principal sums deposited, tenor, and interest rate of the PPT/Royalty and ECA from 2015 to date.

In his ruling, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, mandated the committee, when constituted to ensure compliance. #Reps Query CBN over Excess Crude Account Nigerian Treasury Bills Yield Rises to 7%