Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, owes the country an explanation on the where about of $4.1billion. This is the stand of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, who thinks the matter is serious enough not to be dismissed with a wave of hand.
Governor Oshiomhole insisted that the country would not be beguiled by the notion that Okonjo-Iweala published monthly allocations from the Federation Account. He said that Nigerians must also know what came in as revenues also. “The logic of transparency is that every minister must publish in full what is accruing to the Federation Account, month to month, and what is distributed to whom. What she has been publishing is what went to the Federal Government, each state government and local governments. But she has never published simultaneously what accrued during the period, out of which this said sum was distributed so that you can get the net, what was distributed from all that was collected and see what is left in the excess crude. Now you can see her changing the goal post,” Oshiomhole said. He added that “Okonjo-Iweala was a member of the National Economic Council. I was a member. I had asked her and I am on record as asking her, don’t give us verbal report on matters of Federation Account, give us written report.”
He accused Okonjo-Iweala of playing with statistics and explained that the decision to take money from the Excess Crude Account is vested in the National Economic Council, NEC, which is an institution created by the constitution and not on the finance ministry. “I think, with all due respect to Okonjo-Iweala, she knows how to play around, (I don’t want to say, lie) with statistics. I have made this point that she kept open only part of the pages and not the entire book. What she was referring to is her own administrative arrangement. This $2 billion is the last sum, in her last report. She said we have $4.1 billion, she said so orally but it was captured in the minutes, only to come at the last minute to say oh ‘X’ is left.”
By Dike Onwuamaeze