As Excess Crude Account Now $2.458bn, Says Finance Minister
The Federal Government, on Thursday announced the appointment of eight audit firms to verify its monthly Budget Support Facility to the States, in a bid to see whether beneficiary governments comply with the mutually agreed Fiscal Sustainability Plan prescribed by the National Economic Council (NEC).
During the first meeting for 2017, Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who briefed the NEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, comprising the 36 State Governors, the FCT Minister and the Central Bank Governor, said the firms have already begun the process.
Also at the meeting, Minister of Budget and National Planning, according to highlights of the meeting by Laolu Akande, spokesman to Prof Osinbajo, assured the council that Federal Government has a recovery plan upon which consultations are ongoing to firm-up with clear roles for all the stakeholders.
The plan, he assured, would address key areas as “agriculture and food security, energy sufficiency-power and petroleum availability, improving transportation infrastructure, industrialisation, SMEs, and manufacturing, stabilization of the macro-economic environment.”
Members expressed “concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and called for an urgent review of the current Forex Policy, especially the gap between interbank and the parallel market rates.”
This followed a brief a presentation on Forex Policy options by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who urged for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation is being closely managed
Meanwhile, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Finance Minister also reported that the balance in Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at US$2,458,382,844.03 as at February 15, 2017
The council the Minister of Agriculture also informed the council of the massive wheat production in the States of Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara among others, following which the Federal Government was enjoined to encourage them by purchasing the excess wheat thereby ensuring price stability and sustainable production.
The council agreed to discuss and make adequate buy-back arrangements in order to support price stability.