State Governments Seek $2 Billion from Oil Account for Projects

36 state governments have requested to withdraw $2 billion from the country’s $4.11 billion oil savings account to complete projects and provide security ahead of February polls, Timothy Odaah, the chairman of the States’ Commissioners of Finance Forum, said on Wednesday.
Revenues to be distributed to the country’s three tiers of government in October – federal, state and local – were N593.33 billion, down from N603.5 billion in September, Accountant General Jonah Otunla said.
The Federal Government revenues rose to N536.69 billion in October, up 6.9 percent from September owing to improvements in crude revenues, despite a sharp fall in global oil prices, Otunla also said.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister had three days said, the oil savings Excess Crude Account (ECA) is prone to being raided. Okonjo-Iweala said the government will tap about half of its $4.11 billion ECA, which has declined from $11.5 billion at the start of 2013, to meet current obligations.
She said Nigeria still had funds to pay salaries and keep debt obligations but with crude likely to fall the government would increase taxes on luxury items and ban non-essential government travel to cut expenditure.

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