Nigeria transferred N474.34 billion to its Excess Crude Account (ECA) in February and March, Dr Yerima Ngama, the Minister of State for Finance, said in Abuja on Friday.
He told to newsmen after the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting that the balance of the account still stood at 3.6 billion dollars.
The minister said the Federal Government transferred N173.93 billion in March to the ECA, a decrease of N126.48 billion when compared to the N300.41 billion transferred the previous month.
It would be recalled that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, raised concerns recently about the depleting excess crude account.
Okonjo-Iweala had said that the insistence of governors on sharing the nation’s resources and opposition to the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) was responsible for the depletion of ECA.
The SWF, which is supposed to replace the ECA, is aimed at saving money for the `rainy day’’, finance infrastructure projects and provide a stabilisation fund in case of a fall in oil prices.
Ngama said that for two consecutive months, the Federal Government did not draw money from the stabilisation account because it had ``enough funds’’ in its budgetary provision to distribute to all tiers of government. .
Meanwhile, N613.6 billion was distributed to federal, state and local governments at the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting in Abuja on Thursday, for March.
The figure is a decrease of N7.041 billion or 1.13 per cent compared to the N620.7 billion distributed in February.
The Federal Government received total revenue of N726.77 billion in March compared to the N766.77 billion in February.
According to Mr Jonah Otunla, the Accountant-General of the Federation, oil revenue was down in March because of a decrease in crude oil export caused by several ``operational issues and safety challenges’’ in Bonga, Brass, Bonny and Qua Iboe Terminals.
Oil revenue slumped to N586.631 billion in March from N631.96 billion the previous month.