World Bank had said the Nigerian economy had become more vulnerable to shocks as a result of the depletion of the Excess Crude Account
The bank warned that a ‘moderate’ decline in oil price could trigger another recession, noting that the exhaustion of the ECA had made the country more vulnerable.
The Excess Crude Account,was created by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004 for the purpose of saving oil revenue in excess of the budgeted benchmark, rose from $5.1bn in 2005 to more than $20bn in November 2008.
How Buhari depleted ECA by N1.5tn
According to statistics obtained from the Ministry of Finance, Between 2015 and 2019, the President led administration has withdrew N1.5tn (about $4.92bn) from the Excess Crude Account.
According to punch, FG gave approval for the withdrawal of N458.14bn in the 2015 fiscal period from the ECA. From this amount, N359.39bn went into petroleum subsidy payment and N98.19bn was used for revenue augmentation to the three tiers of government.
In 2016 fiscal period,the sum of N85.17bn was withdrawn to augment revenue to the three tiers of government while $250m was taken out of the account in 2017.
Federal government In 2018, depleted the account by an additional amount of $2.87bn.
Another sum of $1.76bn was withdrawn in the fourth quarter of 2018 by the government for the Paris Club refund to state governments.
In 2019, the ECA witnessed a decline of about $306.04m or N98.48bn from $631m as of January ending to $324.96m as of the end of the year.
The account has further depleted by N253.1m from $324.96m in January to $71.81m, the status of the account as of February 19.