26 March 2o14, Abuja – The Presidency on Tuesday denied reports that President Goodluck Jonathan confirmed in Amsterdam that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation wrongly withheld $10bn from the Federation Account.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement, described the reports as “completely false and a total distortion” of the President’s comments during his meeting with the Nigerian community in the Netherlands.
Abati said at no time during the reception did Jonathan also confirm any irregularities in the NNPC.
The statement read in part, “Sensational reports in the media to that effect are reckless, mischievous and unprofessional misrepresentations of the President’s restatement to the Nigerian community of the Federal Government’s position on the allegation that $20bn is ‘missing’ from the NNPC or the Federation Account, by reporters who were not at the event or even in Holland at all.
“President Jonathan’s verifiable words while responding to questions from members of the community on the allegation and other domestic issues were clear and unambiguous.
“After asserting that the allegations that various sums – $49.8bn, $12bn or $20bn – were missing were inconsistent and lacked credence, the President’s exact words were as follows: ‘As at the time, the Finance ministry was saying they had been able to reconcile only $10bn. There are issues in the NNPC but we are on it.’
– The Punch