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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: Abacha Loot Balance Is N14B

Federal Government Gives Update On What Is Left Of Stolen Monies Recovered From Family Of Late Dictator, Gen Sani Abacha

Federal government yesterday announced that the balance of stolen funds, recovered from the family of former military dictator, late Gen. Sani Abacha, stands at $26m and £19.033m. It said the funds, still in government coffers, are all in foreign currency. This is coming against the background of recent controversy over the actual amount recovered and how it had been expended.

Speaking at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting which took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, who spoke amongst other announced, disclosed that Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, briefed the Council on the balance of stolen money so far recovered from the former dictator.

“We were also briefed on updates on the Abacha loot in Council. The Accountant General of the Federation reported that the dollar account as at November 2015 ending has a balance of $26. 389m. The Pounds Sterling account has a balance of £19, 033,000.00. That is where we are today”, he said.

Also at the NEC meeting, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, and attended by governors of the 36 states, National Planning Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma stated that federal government has prevailed on states to adopt the Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF), as approved by the National Assembly, recently. “At Council today, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning made a presentation to the Council on the MTEF and the Fiscal Strategy Paper. The reports highlighted government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years.

He also briefed Council about government revenue and expenditure projections for the next three years. “We briefed Council about our view in terms of the global outlook and micro-economic frame work and the key assumptions underlining our projections. The presentation urged the states to adopt the MTEF and FSP which has now been approved by the National Assembly, which is the only body that can approve it. But we urged them to adopt it as a basis for the developing their annual budgets.

“We also emphasized the need for states to be guided by the assumptions of the MTEF and also the need for states to be conservative in their expenditure projections for 2016-2018, in view of the declining oil price. We also urged states to look towards enhancing IGR and blocking financial leakages in the system and generally we emphasized the need for planning for the economy, for the federal and state government to work very closely because we are dealing with one economy”, he said.

Speaking also, Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba state reported that the Excess Crude Account now stands at $2.257billion. “We were also briefed today on the reports of the excess crude proceeds. The Accountant General of the Federation reported to Council that the ECA stood at $2.257 billion as at the end of November, 2015. “He also reported a slight change against the previous balance with an interest which is due of $599, 137, 467 into the account as at accrued interest. “We were also briefed on the report of the federal government agencies that are collecting revenue in foreign currency but are remitting the monies in Naira equivalent into the federation account , which is not allowed.

So the Ministry of Finance is working on the details to pass it to the Council with a comprehensive report on the agencies that are involved, which will be later made known to the public”, he said. Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State disclosed that Nigeria’s foreign reserve now stands at $29billion, adding that the CBN governor gave an update on monetary policy measures on foreign exchange strategy and told the Council the challenges being faced by many countries as a result of the global economy recession.


– Tony Ailemen, Abuja

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