Nigeria to release $1 bln from excess oil account to fight Boko Haram -state governor
(Adds context, details)
By Felix Onuah
ABUJA, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Nigerian state governors on
Thursday approved the release of $1 billion from the country's
excess oil account to the government to help fight the Boko
Haram Islamist insurgency.
The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from
sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to
Nigeria's accountant general.
"We are pleased with the federal government achievements in
the insurgency war and in that vein state governors have
approved that the sum of $1 billion be taken from the excess
crude account by the federal government to fight the insurgency
war to its conclusion," said Godwin Obaseki, Edo state governor.
"The money will cover the whole array of needs which
includes purchase of equipments, training for military personnel
and logistics," he told reporters after a meeting of Nigeria's
national economic council.
The release of such a large sum could raise concerns over
corruption, endemic in Nigeria.
The next presidential and gubernatorial national elections
are scheduled for February and March 2019. Historically, the
run-up to elections has seen rampant graft and theft of public
funds as politicians build war chests to contest the vote.
The insurgency in the northeast is in its ninth year. Deadly
attacks on the military and civilians continue, and large areas
are out of government control.
Officials have siphoned off funds meant for aid for 8.5
million people in the region.
In October, President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the country's
top civil servant, accused of having inflated the value of
contracts for aid projects, part of a suspected kickback scheme.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by
First Published: 2017-12-14 16:05:52
Updated 2017-12-14 17:00:56
© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.