Oshiomhole disagrees with Okonjo-Iweala on economy
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has accused the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of “gross mismanaging of the nation’s economy” in the last four years.
The governor in an article to review the nation’s economy in the last four years said Okonjo-Iweala was running the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as if it was a one-man show. He added that the minister’s recent outcry that oil marketers were falsifying subsidy claims might have been done in fear of the incoming President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oshiomhole wrote: “As the country transits from one democratic dispensation to another, there is no gainsaying that the state of the nation’s economy is the focal point, especially with the unending fuel scarcity which is gradually grinding the nation to a halt.
“No doubt, the best person to explain the state of the economy today is Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, whose management of the nation’s resources in these past four years has elicited different reactions from Nigerians.
“As a member of the National Economic Council, I had spoken out at different times at NEC meetings and even in public on the way the economy is managed under Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, again, I want to share my views with the public on some of the issues affecting the Nigerian nation.”
He accused the minister of pointing in the wrong directions and “blaming everybody but herself for the parlous state of the Nigerian economy, coming after her deafening silence on the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit of NNPC crude oil sales and receipts, which revealed massive abuse of public trust and stealing of our common patrimony in high places under her watch and the government she serves.
“It is quite intriguing that with barely few days left in office, she has suddenly woken up from her slumber to realize that oil marketers have been all along falsifying subsidy claims and defrauding the nation of billions of naira and dollars. This latter day ‘policy activism’ on her part deserves closer scrutiny and interrogation.
“Perhaps for fear of Buhari, come May 29, 2015, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is now compelled to disclose to Nigerians that a cabal is holding the country and the government to ransom. Beside the abuse of the subsidy regime, we will insist that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also comes clean on some other critical issues that demand accountability from her and her office.”
The governor accused the minister of not being sincere with the alleged payment of subsidy to oil marketers, adding: “According to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, after paying N156 billion to the oil marketers, the marketers came with another claim of N200 billion, which includes a N159 billion coming not from actual supply of fuel but from exchange rate differentials.
“This resulted in a prolonged bickering that led to the current nation-wide fuel scarcity and total black-out.”
He also accused the finance minister of mismanaging the ECA, shortchanging the states and leaving them poorer.