he Nigeria Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative, NEITI, has alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government diverted N543.63bn belonging to Natural Resources Development, NRD, to fund the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and budget deficit.
According to a report by the Punch, NEITI disclosed that the said money was also used to fund budget deficits, national security, and Nigeria Armed Forces, among others.
The report said: “The Natural Resources Development Account was established to develop alternative mineral resources. The total revenue received from 2012 to 2016 was N486.26bn.
“Out of this amount, the statutory allocation was N374.15bn from both mineral and non-mineral revenue.
“A review of disbursement showed that N543.63bn was released for various projects in the period, meaning disbursement outstripped inflows by 11 percent.”
“Contrary to the purpose of the fund, it served as a borrowing fund for the federal government to meet its obligations in areas such as budget deficits, national security, Independent National Electoral
Commission, Nigeria Armed Forces, among others.
“The utilization of the fund does not match the purpose for which the fund was established.
“For instance, for the loan of N93,768,951,164 released to the federal government for funding of budget deficits and advance to states and Local Governments to meet shortfalls in their revenue.”