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Controversy over $1 billion excess crude deduction for security

Controversy over $1 billion excess crude deduction for security

- Controversy is brewing in government circles over the $1 billion excess crude deduction for security

- The whereabouts of the money is said to be shrouded in mystery at the moment

- The funds are said to have not been expended yet

A report by Business Day indicates that the claims by the National Economic Council (NEC) that the $1 billion (N305bn) they approved for procurement of security equipment to fight insecurity has not been spent has cast doubt on the whereabouts of the fund.

Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano, gave the hint on Thursday, July 19, had briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, claiming that the funds “has not been expended yet.”

Following the deduction of the $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account, the fund had reduced to $1,918,509,918.86, as Stabilization Fund Account now amount to N18,882,864,216.56, while the Natural Resources fund stood at N133,715,427,387.37.

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But when reminded that President Muhammadu Buhari had approached the National Assembly to approve $496 million already deployed to purchase Tucano jet, they expressed ignorance.

There have been concerns that despite the $1 billion approval to check insecurity by the governors at the NEC meeting, insecurity has not abated, as cases of rampant killings abound across the country.

Obiano, in his response said insecurity was not one of the issues deliberated at NEC meeting of Thursday

“With respect to the $1 billion to be spent on saving lives and property across the nation, i have been properly informed that the money has not be expended yet.

“There is a growing concern including at the council and elsewhere that issue of killing must stop. I believe that all the appropriate agencies are aware that concern is growing and I am confident that they listen to the pleas of people and do something more drastic than they have done so far,” he said.

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Seven months ago, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, said the instruction by some state governors for withdrawal of $1 billion, from the excess crude revenue account for the fight against Boko Haram, still stands despite opposition from a number of them.

The AGF made the statement at the special Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meeting for December 2017 where members resolved to share a total of N609.96 billion for the month.

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