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Excess crude account still intact, says Presidency
Below is a statement by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, explaining that the new bailout been given out to states to pay up staff salary will not deplete the country's excess crude account:
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 programme designed by the Debt Management Office which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660bn, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
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.
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