The "quarrel" between Gov. Oshiomole and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is an empirical matter that can easily be resolved without name-calling and "long grammar", because payments into and withdrawals from the ECA are published in the FAAC monthly reports available at the FMF website ( http://finance.gov.ng/) and the OAFG website ( http://oagf.gov.ng/).
The matter is simple. After the meeting of the National Economic Council on June 29, 2015, Gov. Oshiomole alleged that that the NEC "looked at the numbers for the Excess Crude Account" and that "The last time the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, reported to the council, and it is in the minutes, she reported by November 2014 that we had $4.1 bn. Today, the Accountant-General Office reported we have $2.0bn. Which means the honourable minister spent $2.1bn without authority of the NEC and that money was not distributed to states, it was not paid to the three tiers of government”.
A few days later, the ex-CME, through her Media Adviser, Mr. Nwabiukwu, responded that Gov. Oshiomole's allegation is false and malicious and that "there was no unauthorized expenditure from the ECA under her watch".
To be sure, Gov. Oshiomole did not accuse Dr. Okonjo-Iweala of "stealing" the funds; he simply said that the $2.1 billion from the ECA was spent (on what?) without authorization from the NEC. Therefore the pertinent questions that should be answered are as follows:
1. Is it true that as of Nov. 2014, the balance in the ECA was $4.1 billion?
2. If the answer to the above question is yes (as per the minutes quoted by Oshiomole), is it also true that the balance in the ECA as of June 29, 2015 was $2.0billion as purportedly reported by the AGF at the NEC meeting?
3. If the answer to the above question is yes, did the NEC authorize that the spending of $2.1 billion from the ECA between Nov. 2014 and June 29, 2015 OR was the $2.1 billion (i.e. about N346.9 billion at N165 = US$1.00 or N378 billion at N180 to US$1.0 which is about the average "official" exchange rate during the period) shared among the three tiers of government during the period? If the amount was not shared, how was it spent and who authorized the spending? Who has the power to authorize spending from the ECA - the NEC or the President or the CME? Can the ECA funds be spent on any item (such as fuel subsidy or SURE projects) without the authorization of the NEC?
4. What is the relationship between the ECA account and the SURE-P account?
In the interest of transparency and to clear the air, it will be helpful if the the Media Advisor can provide answers to the above questions. On his part, Gov. Oshiomole should look carefully at the FAAC monthly reports between Nov. 2014 and June 2015 to verify the ECA funds that was actually shared during the period.
The Nov. 2015 report indicates that N35.55 billion from the SURE-P accounts was actually shared among the three tiers of government while N16.82 billion was transferred (paid into) the ECA, resulting in a net flow of N18.73 billion from the ECA/SURE-P. The December report indicates that N36.87 billion from the ECA and N35.55 billion from SURE-P were shared. The January, 2015 report indicates that N15.63 billion from ECA was shared, but nothing from SURE-P was shared. The reports for Feb, March, April and May 2015 indicate that nothing from both ECA and SURE-P was shared. Thus we can surmise that between Nov. 2014 and May 2015, the net flow from the ECA/SURE-P account is N106.78 billion or about $0.64 billion at N165 = US$ while the net flow from the ECA alone is N35.68 billion or $0.216 billion. Note that my calculation is slightly different from that of Prof. Aluko who arrived at N123.6 billion or $0.76 for ECA/SURE-P because he ignored the N16.82 billion paid into the ECA in Nov., 2014. Whatever the number you choose to use, it is clear that of the $2.1 billion that is allegedly missing or spent without the authorization the NEC, between $0.2billion and $0.8 billion - depending on the exchange rate used or whether you are using ECA/SURE-P or ECA only - was actually shared among the three tiers of government, including Edo State. This leaves between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion unaccounted for, at least based on the published FAAC Reports. I therefore agree with Prof Aluko that "but there is still more accounting to do as now being requested by the GMB administration".