The alarming disclosure made recently by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the depleting situation of the country’s Excess Crude Account (ECA), is sufficient signal to set our political leaders on edge.
Addressing some leaders in the civil society, the Minister expressed shock that, as at the year 2006 the ECA stood at 20 billion dollars, but came down to a meagre three billion dollars in 2012.
The free-fall within a span of six years should remind our leaders of the excruciating effect of the global melt-down which resonated in our country a while ago.
The risk involved in the little balance from the country’s mainstay would, if not addressed promptly, lead the country to another round of financial insolvency in the event of an unforeseen rupture in international oil prices.
One of the major causes of the drain in our Excess Crude Account is nothing but the prevailing financial crimes which threaten the national economy.
For instance, money laundering has become the vogue amongst most of our political office holders. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated the scale of global money laundering between two percent and five percent of world-wide Gross Domestic Product.
Here inNigeria, the cost of governance is said to be the highest in the world, supplemented by financial crimes of monumental nature.
This is why it is of utmost importance to embark on rationalisation of political offices, most of which are created as job for the boys, to be able to steer off the looming crisis.