Okonjo-Iweala Ex-Minister denies spending $2.1bn without approval

The claim was made by Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole after the inaugural meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Monday, June 29, 2015.

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Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has denied allegations that she spent $2.1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without authorization.

Former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala play

Former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

(Daily Post)

 

The claim was made by Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole after the inaugural meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole. play

Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

(Gist Arena)

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates National Economic Council  (NEC) on June 29, 2015 in Abuja. play

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates National Economic Council  (NEC) on June 29, 2015 in Abuja.

(Twitter)

 

Okonjo-Iweala’s denial was contained in a statement released by her media aide, Paul Nwabuikwu on Tuesday, June 30.

It reads in part:

“The allegation by some governors that former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, spent $2.1 billion out of the Excess Crude Account ‘without authorisation’ is false, malicious and totally without foundation. We want to state categorically that no unauthorised expenditure from the ECA was made under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch in the Finance Ministry.

“Decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.”

“…But Nigerians know that collective revenues, allocations and expenditures of the three tiers of government are the concern of the monthly FAAC meetings.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of governors who are working hard to overcome the current revenue challenges facing their states without resorting to character assassination and the blame game.”

“It is clear that this is the latest chapter of a political witch-hunt by elements who are attempting to use the respected National Economic Council for ignoble purposes having failed abysmally in their previous attempts to tar the Okonjo-Iweala name”.

“We believe that Nigerians are too smart to be hoodwinked by this partisan desperation to tar the name of Okonjo-Iweala. In the interest of the country, we advise that public officials should avoid the temptation to politicise economic issues so that balanced analysis can lead to real solutions.”

Oshiomhole had also earlier accused Okonjo-Iweala of plunging the country into debt in order to settle Federal Government expenses during her time in office.

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