THE Federal Government, on Thursday, revealed that the balance from the loot recovered from late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha, now stands at about $26.4 million and £19 million.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the monthly meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the revelation formed part of the briefing given to NEC by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, during the meeting.
Ortom said the amounts given were the position of the balance of the recovered loot as of November 2015.
At Thursday’s meeting, NEC also urged state governments to adopt Federal Government’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) already approved by the National Assembly since both tiers of government work under a single economy.
According to National Planning Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma, who spoke on the matter, states were encouraged to develop their annual budgets using the criteria.
He said: “The presentation urged the states to adopt the MTEF and FSP which have now been approved by the National Assembly, which is the only body that can approve it.
“But we urged them to adopt it as a basis for developing their annual budgets. We also emphasised the need for states to be guided by the assumptions of the MTEF and also the need for states to be conservative in their expenditure and their expenditure projections for 2016-2018 in view of the declining oil price.
“We also urged states to look towards enhancing their IGR and blocking financial leakages in the system and generally we emphasised the need in planning for the economy for the federal and state governments to work very closely with government because we are dealing with one economy.”
Speaking on the briefing of NEC by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Udoma said the reports highlighted the government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years.
He added that NEC was also briefed about government revenue and expenditure projections for the next three years.
“We briefed council about our view in terms of the global outlook and micro-economic frame work and the key assumptions underlining our projections,” he stated.
NEC also revealed that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) now stands at $2.257 billion.