The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the federal government of withdrawing fund from the excess crude account (ECA).
NewsGazette had earlier reported that the balance in the ECA had dropped from $2.319 billion in November to $631 million in December.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of finance, Mr. Mahmoud Dutse, had revealed that that some withdrawals were made by the federal government from the ECA to settle the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund.
“The balance in the ECA is $631m. The final payment for the Paris Club Refund to states was made and the figure was deducted and that’s what accounts for the difference,” he said.
From the balance of $2.319 billion as at FAAC meeting on November 25, it was found that about $1.68 billion might have been withdrawn between then and now.
Reacting to the development, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement that the furtive depletion of $1.68 billion from the ECA is fraudulent.
He said the development shows that President Buhari is presiding ‘over a corrupt government that is bent on draining our treasury and foisting more suffering on our people’.
He accused the president of superintending the surreptitious withdrawals from the ECA, without recourse to the statutory appropriation of the National Assembly.
“Funds are being frittered from the account to private purses of the cabal at his presidency and corrupt All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders,” he said.
The party described the excuses being peddled by the Buhari administration on the depletion as “hazy” “muddled-up” and could not find any basis under due process of statutory legislative approvals.
“The PDP wonders why Mr. President is presiding over such impunity, if he is not drawing personal benefits from the obvious racket for which our ECA has been turned into APC’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
“Apparently realizing that they have been rejected by Nigerians ahead of the 2019 general elections, the APC and the Buhari Presidency now want to drain our treasury and as usual, blame it on past administration.
“Nigerians can recall that the PDP, which established the ECA as a buffer account to cushion the effect of any economic down turn, left $2.07 billion in the account only for the Buhari administration to drain it down to $631 million.
“The PDP condemns this manifest impunity by the Buhari Presidency and demands that no more withdrawals must be made from the account by this corrupt and inept administration”.
“Finally, our party urges Nigerians to unite in condemnation of the depletion of our ECA by the Buhari administration, which has less than five months to leave the governance of our country for good,” said the party.