he Minister of Finance, Dr Zainab Ahmed has said in the past four years, because of volatility in the course oil market, Nigeria has not had accrual to the excess crude account (ECA).
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Ahmed made this known when she addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had presented the draft copies of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework 2023-2025 to the Council for onward transmission to the National Assembly (NASS) for approval.
According to the Finance Minister, the draft document is for 2023-2025, with an assumption for crude oil price of $70 per barrel for 2023, $66 for 2024 and $62 for 2025, with an estimated production rate of 1.69 million barrels per day for 2023 and 1.813 million barrels per day for 2024 and 2025.
“The assumptions that we made for the next medium term framework from 2023 to 2025 is that crude oil price will be at $70 per barrel for 2023, $66 per barrel for 2024 and $62 per barrel for 2025.
“Crude oil production is projected to be 1.69million bpd for 2023 and 1.813million bpd for both 2024 as well as 2025.
“We have also projected on the nominal GDP, that the size of Nigeria economy will rise up to N225.5 trillion with 95 per cent of this contribution by the non-oil sector while the oil sector will contribute only five per cent.
“And some steady increase from 2024 to reach up to N280.7 trillion in 2025. This means that Nigeria continues to retain its position as the largest economy in Africa.”
Ahmed also said the 2022 budget till April, performed very well with a steady growth in the economy for five consecutive quarters.
She said the ministry got inputs from the Federal Executive Council and would make the necessary adjustments, for onward presentation to the National Assembly.
“On the issue of the excess crude account, in the past four years, because of volatility in the course oil market, we have not had accrual to the excess crude account.
“So, what we have had has been gradually used up for different purposes and it is always used in consultation with the National Economic Council – that is the Governors because this is a Federation Account.
“The last approval that was given by the council was the withdrawal of $1billion to enhance security.
“We have been utilising that and the last trench of that has been finally released because deployment to security agencies are based on the contracts that are executed and it’s been used strictly for that security purpose.
“So, the utilisation of the account is with the full knowledge of the governors,” she said.
Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the Council approved N707. 9 million for the procurement of investigation tools for the Accident Investigation Bureau of the Nigerian Aviation Sector.
According to him, the tool, when procured, will aid investigation, whenever an aircraft is involved in an accident in any part of the country.
“The memo was for the deployment of an investigation tool by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). That tool permits the AIB to be able to record going-on in flights; God forbid, should there be a need to investigate an accident, or a serious incident and the tool will help them to do so.
“That procurement is in the sum of N707, 962, 854. 83, an equivalent of 1, 506, 285.70 Euros, inclusive of 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax at the Central Bank’s exchange rate of N470 to a Euro, with a delivery period of 11 months,” he stated.
Sirika also announced that the council approved the leasing of three aircraft by the country’s national carrier, called ‘Nigeria Air’ to enable it to commence operations on a date to be announced soon by government.
“We have said in our outline business case, which was earlier approved, that we are starting with three aircraft for the first instance and then we progress.
“We will have a mixture of Airbus and Boeings because every airline that will grow big uses the two. We will start with domestic flights and then we grow to become international and then we move to become regional and intercontinental.
“There are challenges currently in our aviation industry but it is a global phenomenon and it will not last forever because aviation is a very resilient sector. Certainly we will overcome these problems,” he added.