She said the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, failed to address issues she raised in her lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ezekwesili, who is also former Minister of education said, “I have already asked the Federal Government to a public debate on the facts raised in my speech.
“Such an open debate of facts and figures of oil revenue since 2007 would help situate public accountability as the center point of our democracy.”
Ezekwesili had in a convocation lecture at the UNN said that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and the President Goodluck Jonathan administrations squandered the foreign reserve of $67bn left by the Olusegun Obasanjo government.
But Maku at a press conference on Sunday described the former education minister’s statement as factually incorrect.
Maku had said, “The statement by the former World Bank vice- president that the governments of Presidents Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan have squandered $67bn in reserves (including $45 bn in external reserves and $22 bn in the Excess Crude Account) left by the Obasanjo administration at the end of the May 2007, is factually incorrect. “At the end of May 2007, Nigeria’s gross reserves stood at $43.13bn, comprising external reserves of $31.5bn, $9.43bn in the Excess Crude Account and $2.18bn in the Federal Government’s savings”.
But in her statement, Ezekwesili insisted that the government should come up with a full disclosure of oil revenues. She said, “I remain resolute in demanding full disclosure and accountability by the Federal Government on the issues of poor management of oil revenues, especially the Excess Crude Account and the Foreign Reserve Account.
“The recent reaction by the spokesperson of the Administration failed to respond responsibly to my demand for accountability.”
The former minister in her lecture at UNN, expressed concern about the poor management of oil revenues. Ezekwesili recalled the lecture where she said that some countries moved up the manufacturing and economic development ladder.