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Excess crude account: Senate panel queries payment of $4m as consultancy fee

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Excess crude account: Senate panel queries payment of $4m as consultancy fee

The Senate Chamber

Worried by the depletion of $325 million in excess crude account into $71.8 million, the
Senate Committee on Finance has demanded for the identity of lawyer who collected $4million as  payment for professional fee for the management of the account.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West) requested for the identity of lawyer during an interactive session with the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Idris Ahmed.
He said: “the committee will want you to furnish us with identity of the lawyer who collected $4 million from excess crude as consultant fee.”
Earlier, the AGF had told earlier enumerated how the $325 million in excess crude account was depleted into $71.8 million.
Ahmed said that the balance in the excess crude accountant as at January 2020 was $325 million, adding that  the National Economic Council, NEC agreed to invest $250 million into Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA and $4 million was paid as professional fee to an unknown lawyer.
He said: “The inflows into the Excess Crude Account have been fluctuating due to the positive and negative variance in the price of crude. The transfer into the account has witnessed downward trend in view of the low pul prices, particularly from year 2015 to date.
“The highest excess inflow of the sum of $17.344 billion was recorded in 2008 while the lowest excess inflow of the sum of $0.276 million was recorded in 2015.
‘”The weighed average price in 2008 and 2015 was $103.67 and $39.04 respectively. The balance in the ECA as at 2nd March , 2020 is $71.8 million.”
Ahmed further told the lawmakers that the federal government is yet to release single kobo for the capital projects in 2020.
The federal government in the 2020 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari proposed N2.465 trillion for capital expenditure.
He however said that N493 billion has been released for personnel cost while N59.77 billion released for consolidated pension, N46.6 billion for overhead cost while only N20.76 billion for capital supplementation.
According to him, personnel cost -N493 billion (16.5%), consolidated pension –  N59.77b, overheads – N46.65 (9.5%),  capital supplementation – N20.76billion .
But, when the committee probed further, the AGF said that N340 billion would be released on first quarter  which will be first tranche for the capital budget.

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