Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has revealed that Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi got part of the $20billion allegedly missing from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).The Coordinating Minister for the Economy said this while reacting to claims by governors that $20bn was missing in the ECA.
She said in the event that the governors continue to hold on to their claim that the money was missing, they should not forget that they too shared out of the lump sum, which she stated was not missing at all.
In a statement issued on her behalf by Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, Okonjo-Iweala noted that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, who was reported to have read the communiqué on behalf of the Governors Forum, made a similar unsubstantiated allegation in November 2013.
“We subsequently showed with facts that not only was the amount not missing, Rivers received N257.6 billion from the Federation Account between January and October 2013,” the statement read.
The statement said there was no basis for the forum to demand that the minister should account for such money from June 2013 to April 2015.
“The statement by the governors is totally strange because Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), meets every month and the ECA is discussed at every session with all the state commissioners of finance present.
“Nothing is hidden. At these meetings, the Minister of State who is the Chairman of FAAC, announces the balance in the ECA which is then discussed.
“So, governors who want any information about the ECA should ask for details from their commissioners who should have the records of what was discussed and agreed upon”, it said.
According to the statement, details of the ECA are also published every month along with the allocations to the three tiers of government.
It added that the reference to June 2013 was immaterial as FAAC meetings during which the ECA and similar issues were discussed held every month.