- How FG Withdrew $1bn From Excess Crude Account To Battle Insecurity
- Presidency, Opposition Bicker
- Again, Buhari Convenes Security Meeting Today
The rising insecurity bedevilling Nigeria has assumed a frightening dimension in recent times.
Things got to a head recently when terrorists attacked the Presidential Guards of Brigade, the elitist arm of the Nigerian Army saddled with the responsibilities of protecting the president during a routine patrol around the Kubwa-Bwari Road, near Abuja.
While there are conflicting reports of the number of victims in the deadly ambush, the Nigerian Army pegged the number of dead soldiers at 3. However, unofficial figures put the dead at no fewer than eight.
This development resounded loudly in the country with the first batch of the 2022 Call to Bar ceremony of graduates of the Nigeria Law School moved from the premises of the headquarters of the institution in Bwari, Abuja, to the headquarters of the Body of Benchers (BoB) in Jabi, along the airport road.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria cited the worrisome insecurity in the country as being responsible for the shift in the location.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu urged his colleagues to stay away from the capital.
“I want to beg members, Abuja is no longer safe, please, if possible, go back to your constituency. The place is so insecure,” he said.
Amid the rising insecurity, reports emerged that the Nigerian government withdrew $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fund.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said on Wednesday.
She made this revelation while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
Ahmed’s intervention comes amid concerns raised by the reduction in the balance of the ECA.
Reports said Tuesday that the balance in the account fell significantly from $35.7 million it was as of June 2022 to $376,655.09 as of July 25, 2022.
“On the issue of the excess crude account, in the past four years, because of volatility in the oil market, we have not had accrual to the excess crude account,” she said.
“So, what we have had has been gradually used up for different purposes and it is always used in consultation with the National Economic Council that is the governors because this is a federation account.
“The last approval that was given by the council was the withdrawal of $1 billion to enhance security. We have been utilizing that and the last tranche of that has been finally released because deployment to security agencies is based on the contracts that are executed and it’s been used strictly for that security purpose. So, the utilization of the account is with the full knowledge of the Governors.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency and the opposition have been bickering since some members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) threatened to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari if he fails to address the rising insecurity within six weeks while staging a walkout on Plenary on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the lawmakers staged a walkout from the Senate and threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against President Buhari should he fail to address the insecurity within the period given by the lawmakers.
Reacting to the development on Channels Television’s Politics Today, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, was of the opinion that the statesmen were merely playing to the gallery, adding that there is not much they will do after the drama which played out in the Upper Chamber.
“I think it was just bravado, and sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado.
“You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death,” Adesina asserted.
He further averred that “those who spoke today are the minority of minorities, they will have their say as is needful in a democracy but it will not go beyond that.”
“They know in their heart of hearts that they cannot achieve what they are saying, they are just wasting the country’s time, wasting the time of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, they know that they cannot achieve it.
“The truth is that in this kind of scenario, the minority will always have its say while the majority will have its way,” Adesina maintained.
While acknowledging that every Nigerian needs to be concerned about the security situation of the country, Adesina still declared that if the Senators are only troubled at this time because some incidents are now closer to them in Abuja, then there is nothing altruistic about their actions.
However, apparently worried by the development, President Buhari has again summoned his service chiefs for an emergency meeting on Thursday (today).
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed the meeting on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“Tomorrow the President has summoned another security meeting with the heads of the security agencies,” Adesina said.
It is hoped that a solution will be provided to the menace of the insecurity rocking the country.