Funds in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) would not be used for the Presidential relief bailout package to defaulting state governors which are presently under way to end the plight of unpaid workers in the country.
Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, has corrected the erroneous impression in some media in a statement in Abuja Tuesday morning saying that no decision about including ECA funds has been taken because the National Economic Council last week clearly concluded that the ECA funds should not be touched at this time.
In his words, “The President has approved other measures to end the plight of the workers without having to touch the ECA.
Those measures are:
*The sharing of $2.1bn between the states and the federal government. This money is sourced from recent LNG proceeds.
* A Central Bank of Nigeria-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from between N250bn to N300bn. This would be a soft loan available to states to access for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries.
*A debt relief programme designed by the Debt Management Office (DMO), which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660bn, and extend the lifespan of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.
He concluded, “Therefore any report that the funds in the ECA would be used at this time is inaccurate and should be ignored. The President has found a way to salvage the situation where several states owe their workers more than 10 months without having to touch the ECA.”