Posted by News Express | 18 November 2013 | 4,370 times
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State lied when he claimed not to know what happened to $5 billion out of the country’s Excess Crude Account (ECA), the country’s Finance Ministry said this evening.
“Governor Amaechi cannot deny knowledge of the status of the Excess Crude Account; Rivers State has received N56.2 billion from the Excess Crude Account between January and September 2013,” the ministry said in a statement issued in Abuja.
“Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has been quoted in recent media reports as saying that $5 billion is missing from the Excess Crude Account (ECA). This statement is absolutely shocking and false,” the statement said.
According to the ministry, “Governor Amaechi cannot credibly deny knowledge of the status of the ECA. He has been closely involved and actively participated in making requests to the Presidency for the ECA to be shared for the purpose of augmenting the regular allocations from the Federation Account whenever there is a shortfall.
“The $5 billion in the ECA which Governor Amaechi referred to in his statement has been shared to the three tiers of government to make up for the revenue shortfalls during the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee process. Part of this fund also went for SURE-P payments and the balance for subsidy payments to oil marketers.
“Rivers State received N56.2 billion, the second highest share among the states, for January to September 2013 from the Excess Crude Account. This amount includes N43 billion for shortfalls plus N12 billion released for SURE-P.
”In fact, earlier this month (November 2013) Rivers State along with other states, benefitted from the sharing of $1 billion from the ECA to augment the allocations.
“It is therefore curious that Governor Amaechi seems not to know the whereabouts of the N56.2 billion which Rivers State has received from the ECA this year.”
The Finance Ministry also accused Amaechi of lying when he said that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, refused to sign the African Development Bank (ADB) loan for a water project in Port Harcourt.
“Again, he is wrong,” the ministry said. “The loan in question has been appraised but it is yet to be negotiated. Before the minister can sign it, it has to go through the negotiation process and be considered and cleared by both the Board of the African Development Bank and the Federal Executive Council. So the issue of the minister refusing to sign it simply does not arise.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala handles issues concerning the states on the basis of professionalism and equity.”
•Photo shows Governor Amaechi.
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