The National Economic Council rose from its monthly meeting on Thursday announcing that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration inherited N14 billion Abacha loot from the immediate past administration.
According to the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who briefed State House correspondents after the NEC meeting, the council was updated on recoveries from monies stolen by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
Ortom said: “We were also briefed on updates on Abacha loots in council.
“The Accountant General of the Federation reported that the dollar account as at November 2015 ending has a balance of $26.389 million, while the pounds sterling has a balance of £19,000,033.
“That is where we are today.”
Also briefing State House correspondent, the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, said the council was also briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on the reports of the Excess Crude Proceeds.
Ishaku said: “The Accountant General of the Federation reported to council that the Excess Crude Account 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 accrued interest.
“We were also briefed on the report of the Federal Government agencies that are collecting revenue in foreign currencies and were 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 be made known to the public.”
The Council told state governors to look inward to generate revenues they would need to run their states as global oil prices continue its free fall.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said in addition to exploring IGR to get resources to run their states, the Federal Government also called on state governments to block wastes and be prudent in the management of their resources.
Udoma said: “In Council today, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning made a presentation to the council on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategic Paper.
“The reports highlighted the government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years.
“We 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 of their annual budgets.
“We also emphasised 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 and their expenditure projections for 2016-2018, in view of the declining oil price.
“We also urged states to look towards enhancing their Internally Generated Revenues and blocking financial leakages in the system and generally we emphasised the need in planning for the economy for the federal and state government to work very closely with government because we are dealing with one economy.”
The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, briefed the council on the monetary policy of the Federal Government.
Tambuwal said: “The CBN governor gave an update on monetary policy measures on foreign exchange strategy and he told the council the challenges being faced by many countries as a result of the global economy recession.
“He also reported that the drop in the oil prices has caused serious pressure on Nigeria’s reserve, which currently stands at $29 billion.
“He also briefed the council on monetary policy among others as follows:
“The deduction of cash reserve ratio from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.
“The measure on forex market and Bank Verification Number considering the introduction of debit card for travelers instead of cash exchange demands to reduce cash for illicit businesses, and also looking at option to diversify the economy away from oil.”
The National Economic Council is a statutory body chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and comprises of the 36 state governors, the FCT Minister, the Ministers of Finance and National Planning and the CBN Governor.