Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account is nearly depleted, and it may soon be depleted if the federal government makes another large withdrawal.
The National Economic Council (NEC) announced on Friday that the Excess Crude Account, which is an oil savings account, now stands at $35,868,086.40 as of January 17, 2022.
The new figure means that FG dipped its hands into the ECA account in October 2021, when the account was at $60,857,773.43 ($60.8m), and withdrew $24.98 million in less than three months.
It also means that over $2 billion has been taken out of the account in the last six years under the current administration.
Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, revealed that the stabilization account balance was N30,685,611,413.79, while the development of natural resources account balance was N42,820,382,381.40, according to the latest update on the excess crude account.
Tolu Ogunlesi, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Digital and New Media, defended the account’s depletion on Friday, saying: “For those pointing out ECA was $2.1 billion in 2015, keep in mind $1 billion went to security purchases” (incl 12 Super Tucano).
“Some of it went to the Paris Club Refunds to States, and the rest was invested in the Sovereign Wealth Fund/NSIA.”
He also mentioned on Twitter that the ECA was once $20 billion in 2009 before being depleted to $2 billion in 2015.
The ECA is a federal government savings account that is funded by the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budgeted price of crude oil in the appropriation bill.
Nigeria not only paid more for subsidies, but it also earned less selling crude, despite oil trading above the 2020 budget benchmark.