Minister of State for Finance, Mr Remi Babalola, has assured that Nigeria’s excess crude oil account is fat enough to last till 2010.
The minister told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) last week in Abuja while attending conference on Effective Audit and Investigation for Improved Tax Compliance that was no cause for alarm as regards the dedicated account. The Federal Government created the Excess Crude Account to mop up surplus on crude oil sales.
According to him, the excess accounted enjoys some level of replenishment when the price of crude oil rose, adding that it rose to more than $20 billion (N3 trillion) in 2008.
The amount came down to about $15 billion, following an agreement between federal and state governments to spend $5.3 billion from the account on the National Integrated Power Project.
“The way that we have looked at it, the money will take us to the end of 2010, but don’t forget that the per barrel price of oil is above $50 and the budgeted price is $45. So naturally, some amount of money will be going into the excess crude account. The only reason why we are having serious problems now is because the volume of export is below what we budgeted for. “The excess crude should not finish. It is like your own savings as an individual, even if there is a problem and you spend part of your savings immediately, you need to get back to the drawing board and make sure you start building the savings again”, he stressed.