Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sen Rose Oko, 41 others move motion to abolish excess crude account, criminalises ECA

Efio-Ita Nyok|8 November 2017 

The distinguished Senator representing Cross River State Northern Senatorial District at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman Senate Committee on Diaspora and Civil Societies, Dr Mrs Rose Okoji Oko, Tuesday, moved a motion for the banishing of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) NegroidHaven can report authoritatively. 

Oko who described the ECA as an 'illegality and drain pipe' explained that the bill seeks to address three fundamental features the Executive arm of government to conform with sections 80 (1-4) and 162(1-3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended, abolish the said ECA and pay oil proceeds into Federation Account and Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority

According to her, '... at the Senate, I sponsored a motion on the EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT: An Illegality and Drain Pipe. The motion which was moved by myself is co-sponsored by 41 other Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic and the Senate Accordingly resolved to: 

'Request the Executive to act in conformity with sections 80 (1-4) and 162(1-3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, in its revenue receipt and expenditure;

'Pay the amount above the oil benchmark into the federation account in compliance with the constitution and Appropriate some of the amount above the oil benchmark into the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)/other sectors; and

'Abolish the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

Below, is the rendering of the bill : 


The Senate:
Notes that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was set up in 2004, ostensibly to provide savings for the country and stabilization for the economy during periods of shortfalls in oil revenue;

Also Notes that the accruals to the ECA was expected to be the amount above the benchmark of crude oil sales
However Notes that the ECA is alien to the 1999 constitution as amended or any known law in the country;

Worried that the ECA is not in tandem with sections 80 (1-4) and 162 (1-3) of the 1999 Constitution, which prescribes revenue receipts and expenditure
Alarmed that these breaches of the Constitution in setting up and operating the ECA have created room for a pool of funds from revenue accruing to the Federation being operated without legal backing and without any checks and balances, thereby providing loopholes for imprudence and financial recklessness;

Further Alarmed that  a report by The National Resource Governance Institute rates Nigerias Excess Crude Account as one of the most poorly managed around the world, where its operation is discretionary and at the whims of the executives;

Notes that for instance, it was reported that the ECA increased from $5.16 billion in 2005 to over $20billion in 2008, and decreased to less than $4billion by 2010 with no known tracking of its operations
Further Notes that at various times and from several quarters in 2013, it was purported that $5billion was missing from the ECA, and that $2billion was withdrawn without authorization
Concerned that these accusations between tiers of government portrays a financial system that is flawed and without probity;

Observes that by May 2017, Government announced a resumption of payment into the ECA of $87million ostensibly since May, 2015, arbitrarily;

Further Observes that however, between May, 2015 and August, 2017, about US $122.2million had accrued and ought to have been paid to the ECA;

Deeply Saddened by the continued impunity of the ECA and its discretionary operation in contravention of the 1999 Constitution, creating room for imprudence, recklessness and arbitrariness;

Very Concerned that this is one veritable source of huge revenue leakage in the country;

Notes that the on-going amendment of section 162 of the 1999 Constitution as amended is expected to cure the problem of savings for the nation that is rooted in the Constitution;

Believes that before that is done, the nation cannot continue to operate an appreciable quantum of revenue arbitrarily, outside the law with no checks and balances, whatsoever
Accordingly resolves to:

i. Request the Executive to act in conformity with sections 80 (1-4) and 162 (1-3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, in its revenue receipt and expenditure
ii. Pay the amount above the oil benchmark into the Federation Account in compliance with the Constitution
iii. Appropriate the amount above the oil benchmark into The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and other sectors as deemed appropriate
iv. Suspend the Excess Crude Account (ECA)
v. Mandate an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the revenue accrued from the amount above the oil benchmark from 2004 to date and its utilisation, identifying any further infractions committed and report back within two months. 

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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