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‘Oshiomhole’s allegation against Okonjo-Iweala baseless, illogical’

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Oshiomole

Oshiomole

THE allegation of “gross mismanagement of the economy,” made on Wednesday against the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State “is full of gaping holes, both in facts and logic,” the ministry has said.

Noting that the “attack” only followed the ministry’s publication of the details of disbursements to the federal and state governments from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) over the past four years, the Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Paul Nwabuikwu, said that governors who cannot pay salaries have no excuse.

According to him, “the release of the ECA details has also demonstrated very clearly that there is no substance in the wild allegations that any money is missing from the account or that finances of the country under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch have not been well managed.”

In a statement yesterday in response to the governor’ allegations, Nwabuikwu said: “Like previous baseless allegations by some governors, the motive behind Oshiomhole’s attack is clear: to deflect public attention from the manner in which they have run the finances of their states and make Okonjo-Iweala the scapegoat.”

He wondered how Oshiomhole could claim that governors were not properly briefed on the status of ECA when their commissioners for finance attend all the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings, “where decisions are taken and communicated to the nation.”

He recalled that the practice of publishing details of allocations from the Federation Account to all the three tiers of government started under Okonjo-Iweala’s tenure in the ministry, which regularly furnishes Nigerians with information on the country’s finances.

Oshiomhole’s insistence that Okonjo-Iweala “must disclose to the nation the full details of subsidy payments to oil marketers in the last four years” is therefore astonishing given that every payment to the marketers has been published in the media and widely disseminated through all news channels,” the statement added.

Describing as ridiculous and unmeritorious Oshiomhole’s “allegation that Okonjo-Iweala has not been transparent, Nwabuikwu reminded him that “apart from the monthly publication of allocations to federal, state and local councils, the ministry also publishes SURE-P receipts and distribution to different tiers, details of payments to oil marketers and other information.”

Wondering if the governor has demonstrated the same level of openness in his management of Edo State, he challenged him to also go public with all the information on what he has received from various sources and their uses.

The ministry condemned Oshiomhole’s claim that the minister has “just woken up from her slumber to realise that oil marketers have been all along falsifying subsidy claims and defrauding the nation of billions of naira,” saying that the statement underscored the extent he would “go in his desperation to tar Okonjo-Iweala.

“When she returned as Finance Minister in 2011, the outstanding fuel subsidy bill was about N1.3 trillion.

It was the work done on subsidy fraud by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee, which the minister set up, and later elevated into a presidential panel, that determined that over N300 billion of the amount was fraudulent.

“This eventually led to the prosecution of some persons for subsidy fraud and reduction of the annual subsidy budget to N791 billion, saving the country over N1 trillion in the process.

Such baseless posturing only diminishes the credibility of Oshiomhole in the minds of objective Nigerians.

“For the record, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has no apologies for insisting that a claim of N159 billion for forex differentials by the marketers out of a total bill of N200 billion should go through an additional verification process.

“When 80 per cent of a subsidy claim is made up of forex differentials and not the value of the amount of fuel supplied, the right and proper thing to do is to take extra steps to ensure that the country is not being cheated.”

“Oshiomhole’s allegation that the minister is involved in ‘an unholy alliance’ with government agencies and the marketers is therefore manifestly untrue and totally irresponsible.

How can a minister against whom the oil marketers have conducted a very public campaign of calumny be in league with them? “The most laughable part of Oshiomhole’s article is the claim that Okonjo-Iweala has been speaking out lately because of the ‘fear of Buhari.’

Nigerians know this is ridiculous. If there is any minister whose voice has been strong on the right issues over the past four years, it is Okonjo-Iweala.”



11 Comments
  • Garba Kano

    This Okonjo Iweala woman and her several Igbo Nyamiri tribesmen tactically fixed in various strategic fiscal finance establishments are a disaster to the Nigerian economy and it’s docile citizens. See DMO, RMAFC , Budget Office, Central Bank, Economic Advisor to the President, National Planning Commission and many more are all headed one way or the other by her cotravelers then how do you expect objectivity or checks and balances within the context of our fiscal system with one ” dominant family” at the helm of affairs? Same arrangement prevails in all our other financial institutions such as banks whose MD/ CEO’s mainly come from the same zone with this quack economist Okonjo Iweala . Are other Nigerians not brilliant enough to handle our fiscal / finance matters only people of Igbo extraction? Haba? Remember absolute power and absolute control corrupt absolutely. Hence the mess we find ourselves in today. See how Nigeria was forced by this Worldbank/ IMF agent Okonjo Iweala to have swollowed a whooping $ 18 billion external loan and $42 billon domestic loan in just 4 years ! With this regrettable misadventure Okonjo Iweala has eternally mortgaged the Nigerian peoples lives with all the immediate and future expensive and painful consequences. More worrisome is looking at the portfolio of these loans mostly on service matters much less is credited to the real productive sector of the economy. I just pity GMB who will have bear the burden of steering this already sinking ship and again it is during his tenure the symptoms of these macroenomic self imposed ailments will begin to manifest. On last note this Okonjo woman considering the way she is being widely and ignorantly touted is not an economist she only read FINE ART as her first degree and later blended it with some questionable and debatable phd in ” regional economics”. Any wonder why we are in this mess?.May God Almighty bail GMB out, amen.

    • Charles Oigiangbe Isibor

      Mr Garba, at this level of understanding in Nigeria, you are still far back. You are a real tribalistic man. People like you shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office. Secondly, your manner of approach is very uncivilized, calling the Ibos names. Too bad. For your information I’m not an Ibo but an Edo man. You must learn to be diplomatic in approach to issues. Thank you.

    • Engr C.M U

      What is your qualification and experience on economics?

      • Garba Kano

        Okonjonimics phd

    • Anne

      Don’t worry Mr Garba, Dr okonjo iweala will soon be replaced by a hausa/fulani with phd in Islamic studies of bayero university kano. One naira will be equal to a dollar before the end of the year.

      • Garba Kano

        Thanks Dr Nelson. Picking someone from the World Bank does not necessarily make one to be fit for a certain job. It all depends on one’s qualification, professional proficiency , capacity to deliver and cognate experience. Imagine my brother Ike Chimiezu a highly experienced driver with the World Bank for the past 20 years being appointed as minister of transport just because he was ” drafted” from that blood money sucking establishment known as world bank. Okonjo, check your sources well, is nothing but a fraud imposed on Nigeria just to superintend the implementation of the Breton Woods’s imperial policies of siphoning our collective national wealth with a little change accruing to her personal account. All said Okonjo read FINE ART not economics. Show me in facts and figures what she has read as her first degree and from which institution? Just Media made kind of hero. Empty incompetent rogue she is. Be unbiased .

    • Nelson

      For your information, Okonjo-Iweala was drafted from the World Bank. So, she could not have been quackof course, I am not holding brief for her, but we must make informed statements, if we don’t want to show ourselves as illiterate and empty. Who was CBN governor until a little over a year ago? Check your records well before making baseless, crass and stupid claims.

      • Garba Kano

        Thanks Dr Nelson. Picking someone from the World Bank does not necessarily make one to be fit for a certain job. It all depends on one’s qualification, professional proficiency , capacity to deliver and cognate experience. Imagine my brother Ike Chimiezu a highly experienced driver with the World Bank for the past 20 years being appointed as minister of transport just because he was ” drafted” from that blood money sucking establishment known as world bank. Okonjo, check your sources well, is nothing but a fraud imposed on Nigeria just to superintend the implementation of the Breton Woods’s imperial policies of siphoning our collective national wealth with a little change accruing to her personal account. All said Okonjo read FINE ART not economics. Show me in facts and figures what she has read as her first degree and from which institution? Just Media made kind of hero. Empty incompetent rogue she is.

        • Nelson

          My dear Garba. I was not available for a few days hence I did not send this mail earlier. First, I want to remind you that I do not hold brief for Okonjo-Iweala. In fact, we have never met one-on-one. What I said is based on my earlier research, especially relating to the Nigeria financial system and the Bretton Woods institutions. Okonjo-Iweala holds a PhD in Economics. In fact, she is a second generation economist, being the daughter of the reputed economist, Prof. Okonjo, who retired from the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her mother also retired as a Professor of Political Science from that same institution. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became Nigeria’s finance minster from the World Bank where she was vice president. Recall that she contested against Ms. Lagarde (of France), the current Managing Director of the IMF, a few years ago (for the post MD of IMF) and had a very strong showing. She only narrowly missed it through the grand conspiracy of the capitalist West, spear-headed by the United States.
          In terms of credentials and pedigree, I am sure you will agree with me that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is very solid. However, credentials do not just translate into positive results in all situations. There are other key factors that would come into play: for example, team work, orientation and other factors that help grow public governance. Look, our country is in serious trouble and only very high discipline, good team work, appreciation and acceptance of the fact that there is problem and liberal perception that can move this our great country forward, in light of the great potentials that abound here. Corruption can pull own even the best economic plans. Nevertheless, it was great contributing to the discussion. You make very informed discussion. But inject more seriousness into it; and be more factual. Regards!

  • Guide&Guard Inc.

    We don’t seem to understand both the outgoing finance minister and guv’nor Adam but what remains confusingly disturbing is inspite of openess of jonathanian period of governance, Nigerian economy is worse off…pls lets pray God helps Buharian era that is about kicking off in some moment’s time!

  • EBI De blessed

    Can the governor,Oshiomhole and the likes make public their reckless financial spending to the people of their state ? any governor that said he cannot pay tax,should be impeach with urgency because they have betray the mandates of the people.They should as well stop critizing those administrators that has done well.It is those that has done well that critics critized.Why ?