Missing oil money: Senators differ over Sanusi’s claim

Senate-Chamber506 February 2014, Abuja – The disclosure by Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, on alleged missing $20bn oil money from the federation account on Wednesday caused a division between the Vice Chairman, Senate  Committee on Interior, Olubunmi Adetunmbi, and a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Senate Services, Emmnauel Anosike.

While Adetunmbi said Sanusi’s action was proper and urged Nigerians “to be vigilant in ensuring that the on-going investigation into the allegation gets to its satisfactory conclusion,” Anosike said the CBN governor was lowering his integrity and ‘rubbishing’ the nation’s economy before the international community.

Adetumbi said the on-going controversy over the alleged missing fund was a vindication of his position when he first raised the motion on unremitted funds on the floor of the Senate.

He said his motion had led to the sequence of events that uncovered the controversial issue of missing funds.

He also described as mischievous, insinuations that the CBN governor was acting the script of the opposition.

But Anosike, a member of the fifth Senate, warned Sanusi against playing to the gallery.

He  said, “The CBN governor is playing to the gallery with his recent bombshell.

“As the head of a major parastatal in the Federal Ministry of Finance, his first communication should be to the supervising minister, who also doubles as the coordinating minister for the economy.

“Coming every month to the National Assembly to give conflicting figures of unremitted oil proceeds by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation does not portray him as a man of integrity. A CBN governor should not be seen always talking in public. Rather, he should concentrate on the regulatory role of CBN.

“He should open up a line of communication with his finance minister and stop being used.

“His inconsistency is sending wrong signal to the international community about Nigerian economy”.

The Senator urged the Senate not to be hasty in its investigation into the matter.

According to him, the committee responsible for the probe should critically appraise both the NNPC and CBN books with a view to bringing the issue to a logical conclusion.

He also admonished Sanusi to join politics and stop overheating the already charged political environment.

Meanwhile, the  opposition All Progressives Congress on Wednesday said the Federal Government had been unable to come clean by giving a satisfactory explanation with respect to the unremitted $20bn by the NNPC.

Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was sad that the Peoples Democratic Party-led government kept falling from one financial scandal to another with corruption hitting an all time high.

He said, “This government has been unable to come clean by giving a satisfactory explanation as per the missing funds. One time it was said to be $49bn then it was revised downwards.

“Yesterday, the Central Bank Governor categorically said the NNPC has been unable to account for $20 bn dollars.

“This is a government that is swimming in corruption and it seems that their thinking is very simple ‘let them talk, the people will soon forget.’ Nigerians who wallow in poverty and live in hardship will not forget.”


– The Punch

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