News Column

Govt - Only Okonjo-Iweala, NNPC Can Explain Missing U.S.$20 Billion

February 13, 2014

Isiaka Wakili

The federal government has said only the Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) can explain the missing $20 billion oil fund.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had during a public hearing last Tuesday told the Senator Mohammed Makarfi-led Senate Committee on Finance that the NNPC was yet to account for $20 billion from the total of $67 billion oil sales receipts from January 2012 to July 2013.

But yesterday Information minister Labaran Maku while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting explained why the government had kept mute on the issue.

The minister said since monetary figures were involved, the government could not just be responding flippantly to the allegation by Sanusi.

The government's spokesman stressed that the finance minister and the NNPC were in a better position to provide answers to the allegation.

He urged members of the Nigerian public to be patient for Okonjo-Iweala and the NNPC to respond to the allegation.

"I'll caution that we be patient for the institutions of government to respond. You'd recall that the CBN governor first claimed that $49 billion or thereabouts was missing and inquiry shows that was not so. Now, he has been making further claims and the NNPC has been responding. I don't have the facts now to answer your questions," he said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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