Federal Government lawyers and those of governors of the 36 states of the federation have been directed to finalise their positions on the Excess Crude Account and resolve within themselves in two weeks time before the next National Economic Council (NEC) meeting ahead of the September 2nd date given by the Supreme Court to settle out-of-court.
Also, the Federal Government has hinted that it wouldsoft pedal on domestic debts which, according to it, has reached a critical level.
This, it said, was meant to reduce to the barest minimum the level of deficit in the nation’s budget to avoid additional domestic debts.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had last week agreed to approach the court to seek legal redress against the Federal Government over alleged illegal deductions from the Federation Account.
The governors had disclosed that the deductions which the Federal Government was currently making were specifically to offset oil subsidy payments, Excess Crude Account and other unconstitutional withdrawals.
The position was taken to resolve issues within two weeks at the NEC meeting statutorily presided by Vice President Namadi Sambo. NEC also has the 36 state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Minister of National Planning and Minister of State, Finance as members.
Briefing State House correspondents after the three hours meeting, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State alongside Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido and Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, hinted that NEC agreed that the Ministry of Finance and the governors should sit and agree before the next NEC meeting though the date was not disclosed.
CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido said, “This solution is important because the Supreme Court has given us till 2nd of September for an out-of-court settlement to be reached. If it is not reached, the trial will continue. But from all indications, both parties are willing to arrive at an understanding of what is due to each party.