Zainab Ahmed

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account has been depleted to an all-time low of $274.583 million, which is believed not adequate to sustain the country in a stormy financial shock should oil prices fall below the budget benchmark.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while reporting to the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday in Abuja.

The minister stated that as of September 17, 2019, the balance in Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $274, 583, 856 .78; Stabilization Account  N23, 796, 349,487.76; Dev. Natural Res. and Acct Fund N105, 135, 613, 817.27.

The interpretation of the latest figure means that the amount saved from an oil windfall in the country’s excess crude revenue account has been depleted and what is left will not tide the country over any financial downturn should oil price fall below the budget benchmark of $62 per barrel.

Because much of the savings in the Excess crude account has been disbursed and what is left based on what the three tiers of government in the country agreed on will not be enough to make any significant impact on the budget if the price of oil falls below the budget benchmark.

The Nation Excess crude account has been depleted from about $20 billion in 2007 to only $274.583million as at the end September 17, 2019.

The Minister, who also briefed the Council on the Budget Support Facility, says that state governments are expected to start servicing the loan from September 2019 and repayment is over 240 months.

It was gathered that the Council resolved that Governors should meet with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria to sort out the details of repayment modalities and the Vice President will ensure the same and ensure the meeting between the Governors, CBN and Finance Ministry in order to facilitate the speedy resolution of the matter.