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FG Bolsters Excess Crude Account To $10bn In Preparation For Recession

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ABUJA, June 25, (THEWILL) - The Excess Crude Account (ECA) has been raised to $10bn following a recent $4.7 billion federal government fund injection as part of efforts to provide the economy with insulation against global economic recession.

The decision was part of score others taken on Monday by the National Economic Council (NEC) to guard against the effects of possible global recession on the economy, for at least three months

Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers State and chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, made the disclosures while briefing Journalists at the Presidential Villa, shortly after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

“The NEC said that the economy is in good standing but pointed out the need for more judicious borrowing and application of funds by different level of government,” he said. “NEC also concurred on another measure to protect the economy. This is support for the president in his plans to appoint members of the board of directors of the Sovereign Wealth Funds, including the managing director, chief executive officer and the executive and non- executive directors, which is expected to come after a painstaking and credible recruitment process.”

The decisions were occasioned by the presentation of finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on the Implementation Update on the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the need to protect the country’s economy from the persisting global economic crisis.

The Council also examined the report of the Inter-Ministerial Teams on the recent Nation-wide inspection of 111 projects of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources across the country by the minister of water resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe. The report revealed that the projects, which are at various stages of completion, require about N191.7 billion for their completion.

The Council also directed the directorates of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in the states and the state governments to jointly review details of the projects in order to help government devise appropriate funding arrangements and prepare a framework for completion of the projects.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs Dr. (Mrs.) Precious Gbeneol also briefed the Council on the N20.5bn and N15bn MDGs Fund for 2012 available to the States and LGAs respectively to pursue development projects.

The Council advised the states to take advantage of the programme by meeting the required conditions, so that they can each access as much as N550m.

It also mandated the MDGs office to provide a quarterly report on the progress of states, as a preliminary means of estimating the overall progress towards 2015.