The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states approved on Thursday the release of $1 billion from the country’s Excess Crude Account to fight the Boko Haram Islamist terrorists in northeastern Nigeria.
The so-called Excess Crude Account holds foreign reserves from Nigeria’s excess earnings from crude oil sales.
The Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, pegged the balance of the Excess Crude Account at $2.317 billion as of December 13, 2017, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, said on Thursday.
“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,” Obaseki told reporters, as quoted by Reuters.
Military sources have told Reuters that Nigeria’s soldiers are underpaid and undersupplied, and some have alleged that their superior officers might be skimming from supplies.
The release of such a large sum could raise concerns about corruption on the one hand, and on the other hand, it could mean that Nigeria is not close to totally defeating the Boko Haram insurgents.
Earlier this year, Nigeria suspended crude oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin in northeastern Borno state following the kidnapping of at least 10 people who were contracted to carry out oil exploration research in the area by gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram.
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Last week, Nigeria’s military sacked the commander leading the fight against Boko Haram, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru. Since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed and thousands kidnapped.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari said at the end of 2015 that the terrorists were “technically defeated”, Boko Haram has continued to conduct bomb and gun attacks in the country’s northeast.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.