Oil tanker unloads crude oil at a crude oil terminal in Zhoushan

JOHANNESBURG - Nigeria’s Auditor-General Anthony Ayine has advised the Nigerian government to legalise its continuous maintenance of the Excess Crude Account, (ECA), the Premium Times reported on Friday.

The remarks were contained in the recently released annual report of the auditor-general for the Nigerian federation on the accounts for the year ended December 2016.

The report showed that N361 billion (R13,554,286.50) classified as royalty was deducted from total oil and gas revenue collected in 2016 before the balance was paid to the Federation Account. The sum, the report said, was in respect of the ECA.

“These deductions would appear to contravene the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which states that ‘The Federation shall maintain a special account - to be called The Federation Account - into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the government of the federation’.”

The report added that it was noted by the audit team that there was no legal authority for the creation of the Excess Crude oil/Royalty Account which is operating contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

A recommendation for the relevant government agencies and Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee to initiate the process to legalise the creation of the Excess Crude Oil/Royalty Account through the National Assembly was also made by the authors of the report.

- African News Agency (ANA)