It was reported that Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has suggested that Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi got a piece of the missing $20billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
Okonjo-Iweala who was reacting to claims by governors that $20bn was missing in the ECA insinuated that if the governors continue to hold on their claim that the money is missing, it means, they shared of the money, which she noted was not missing at all.
In a statement issued by Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, spokesman for Okonjo-Iweala, she noted that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, who was reported to have read the communique on behalf of the Governors Forum, made a similar unsubstantiated allegation in November 2013.
According to the statement, he alleged in November 2013 that five billion dollars were missing from the ECA.
“We subsequently showed with facts that not only was the amount not missing, Rivers received N257.6 billion from the Federation Account between January and October 2013,” the statement read.
The statement said there was no basis for the forum to demand that the minister should account for such money from June 2013 to April 2015.
“The statement by the governors is totally strange because Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), meets every month and the ECA is discussed at every session with all the state commissioners of finance present.
“Nothing is hidden. At these meetings, the Minister of State who is the Chairman of FAAC, announces the balance in the ECA which is then discussed.
“So, governors who want any information about the ECA should ask for details from their commissioners who should have the records of what was discussed and agreed upon”, it said.
According to the statement, details of the ECA are also published every month along with the allocations to the three tiers of government.
It added that the reference to June 2013 was immaterial as FAAC meetings during which the ECA and similar issues were discussed held every month.