Under Buhari, we paid $4m (N1.42bn) to a lawyer from Excess Crude Account – Accountant General

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Ahmed Idris, accountant-general of the federation, has explained how the Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance decreased from $2.2 billion which the Buhari administration inherited to $71.8 million.

Idris told members of the senate committee on finance on Tuesday that $4million was paid as professional fee to a lawyer, but failed to provide further details on this.

This angered the committee which asked him to return on a later date with the name of the lawyer and what the payment was meant for.

Giving a breakdown of the funds in ECA over the years, Idris said the ECA balance moved from $2.2 billion in 2015 to $2.6 billion in 2016, $2.4 billion in 2017, and $631.4 million in 2018.

He said the money stood at $325 million as at 2019 but reduced to $71.8 million after $250 million was invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as agreed by the national economic council.

He added that in 2019, it further depleted to $324.9 million and currently stands at $71.8 million.

According to Idris, inflows into the ECA have witnessed a downward trend because of low oil prices.

For the inflows into ECA, the accountant-general said in 2015, the total inflow was $2.35 billion, which increased to $3.68 billion in 2016, and reduced to $3.38 billion in 2017.

He added the inflow jumped to $3.5 billion in 2018 but crashed to $1.01billion in 2019.

The Buhari administration once withdrew $1 billion from the account to be used to tackle insecurity.

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