Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state, received a total of N N257.6 billion from the federation account between January and October 2013.

Okonjo-Iweala said the governors’ forum had no basis asking her to account for $20 billion from the excess crude account (ECA) because details of the ECA are published every month.

She added that the ECA is discussed at every monthly session of the federal accounts allocation committee (FAAC), where all the state commissioners of finance are usually present.

“Rivers received N257.6 billion from the Federation Account between January and October 2013,” she said in a statement issued by Paul Nwabuikwu, her spokesman, in Abuja on Tuesday.

“The statement by the governors is totally strange because Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), meets every month and the ECA is discussed at every session with all the state commissioners of finance present.
“Nothing is hidden. At these meetings, the Minister of State, who is the Chairman of FAAC, announces the balance in the ECA which is then discussed.”

The minister directed governors who need further explanation on the account to consult their commissioners. Okonjo-Iweala added that Amaechi, who read the communiqué of the governors early on Tuesday, made unsubstantiated claims that N5 billion was missing in 2013.

“Governors who want any information about the ECA should ask for details from their commissioners who should have the records of what was discussed and agreed upon.

“Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, who was reported to have read the communique on behalf of the governors, made a similar unsubstantiated allegation in November 2013.

“He alleged in November 2013 that $5 billion was missing from the ECA but we subsequently showed with facts that the amount was not missing.”

The statement added that in the interest of transparency and accountability, the ministry of finance would, in a couple of days, publish the details of the ECA for the last four years.