Wike vows showdown with FG over planned Excess Crude Account withdrawal
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has vowed a showdown with the Federal Government if the latter goes ahead with a planned withdrawal from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
He also berated the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for endorsing the planned withdrawal.
According to a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, the governor spoke when he hosted the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who was on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
The ECA was created by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 2004 to save revenues – in excess of the budgetary benchmark price – generated from the sale of oil.
The ECA is funded by the difference between the market price of crude oil and the budgeted price of crude oil as contained in the Appropriation Act, with the overriding objective of insulating the country from economic shocks that may arise from volatility in crude oil prices in international markets.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said recently that the ECA balance as of February 16, 2021, stood at $72.4 million.
Wike queried the whereabouts of the $1 billion withdrawn from the ECA in 2017 on the grounds that it would be used to fund the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
He vowed not to support the plan for a fresh withdrawal except Rivers State is given its 13 percent share from the account.
“Yesterday, I was told that the governors agreed that they will take money from Excess Crude to support military. What of the one they took before, the $1billion that they gave to the military?
“Now again! This one, I’ll tell my Attorney General; you will have to prepare, we will go to court.
“I will not support that one except they’ll give us our 13 percent first from that Excess Crude Account,” Wike said.