The Presidency has reacted to reports in the media that the federal government took money from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to help ease the financial burden on states.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, he said:
“Reports in sections of the media today that funds will be drawn from the Excess Crude Account for the relief package approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for states and local governments, are incorrect.
“For the purpose of greater clarity on the matter, the measures approved by President Buhari to deal with the problem of unpaid public sector salaries in many states are as follows:
*The sharing of the $2.1 Billion dividend paid to the Federation Account by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG);
* A Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from N250 Billion to N300 Billion. This will be a soft loan available to states for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries; and
*A debt relief program designed by the Debt Management Office which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660 Billion, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
The statement further noted that: “The measures approved by President Buhari definitely do not include drawing down the remaining balance in the Excess Crude Account or the “liquidation” of the account as some media outlets have wrongly reported.
“No such decision has been taken or approved by President Buhari, and last week’s meeting of the National Economic Council clearly concluded that the Excess Crude Account should be left untouched at this time.”