We Paid One Lawyer $4m (N1.4bn) – Accountant-General Explains Depletion Of ECA From $2.2 Billion Under Jonathan To $71.8 Million Under Buhari

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Ahmed Idris, the accountant-general of the federation who appeared before a senate committee on finance on Tuesday March 10, gave a breakdown of how the excess crude account (ECA) of $2.2 billion which President Buhari inherited from Jonathan’s administration in 2015, decreased to $71.8 million in 2020.

Idris revealed that the ECA balance decreased from $2.2 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion in 2016, $2.4 billion in 2017 and $631.4 million in 2018. As at 2019, the ECA balance was $325 million. It however reduced to $71.8 million after $250 million was invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as agreed by the national economic council.

The Accountant-General who blamed the depletion of the ECA on low oil prices, said in 2015 the total inflow was $2.35 billion. It increased to $3.68 billion in 2016 and reduced to $3.38 billion in 2017. It jumped to $3.5 billion in 2018 but crashed to $1.01billion in 2019.

Idris also revealed that the Buhari administration paid $4million as professional fee to a laywer from the ECA, but failed to provide further details on the payment. The disclosure infuriated the senators who asked him to return on a later date with the name of the lawyer and what the payment was meant for.

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