The Senate on Tuesday fumed over the payment of $4 million as consultancy fee to a lawyer from the Excess Crude Account.
The lawmakers however asked the Accountant General of Federation, Idris Ahmed, to provide the identity of the lawyer who collected the $4 million as professional fee from the ECA.
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, made the request during an interactive session with the Accountant General of the Federation.
According to Olamilekan: “The Committee will want you to furnish us with the identity of the Lawyer who collected $4 million from the Excess Crude Account as Consultancy Fee.”
Ahmed, while making a presentation earlier before the panel, enumerated how the $325 million in the ECA became depleted to $71.8 million in 2020.
He said the balance in the ECA as at January 2020 was $325 million.
He said the National Economic Council agreed to invest $250 million into Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and $4 million was paid as professional fee to an unknown lawyer.
He said: “The inflows into the Excess Crude Account have been fluctuating due to the positive variance in the price of crude.
“The Transfer into the account has witnessed downward trend in view of the low oil prices, particularly from year 2015 to date.
“The highest excess inflow of the sum of $17.344 million was recorded in 2008, while the lowest excess inflow of the sum of $0.276 million was recorded in 2015.
“The weighed average price in 2008 and 2015 was $103.67 and $39.04 respectively.
“The balance in the ECA as at 2nd March, 2020 is $71.8 million.”
Ahmed told the lawmakers that the Federal Government was yet to release a single kobo for the Capital Projects in 2020.
The Federal Government in the 2020 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari proposed N2.465 trillion for capital expenditure.
Ahmed however said N493 billion has been released for personnel cost, while N59.77 billion released for consolidated pension, N46.6 billion for overhead cost, while only N20.76 billion is for capital supplementation.
According to him: “Personnel Cost – N493 billion (16.5%), Consolidated Pension – N59.77b, Overheads – N46.65 (9.5%), Capital Supplementation – N20.76 billion.”
But when the Committee probed further, Ahmed said N340 billion would be released in the first quarter, which will be first tranche for the Capital Budget.