Ex-minister defends herself again on excess crude funds

Okonjo-Iweala spoke out again after the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) denied authorizing the withdrawal of the sum from the ECA.

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has once again denied allegations that she spent $2 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without authorization.

Okonjo-Iweala spoke out again after the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) denied authorizing the withdrawal of the sum from the ECA.

The minister’s reaction was contained in a statement released on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, by her media aide, Paul Nwabuikwu.

It reads:

“We thank the Finance Commissioners for their clarification on the use of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and for acknowledging that this is not an Okonjo-Iweala issue.”

“The statement clearly shows that Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) is a statutory body which is chaired by the Hon. Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.”

“Payments made were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by Mr President. Therefore there is no question of mismanaging any resources here.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did Dr. Okonjo-Iweala say that FAAC approved such expenditures. What she said was that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states.”

“It is therefore clear that there was no misrepresentation by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.”

“The question before us is: why is there such an excessive attempt to batter her name in an attempt to damage her reputation? It is clear as I said in my previous statement that the motive is malicious and very political and therefore will not succeed.”

“If monies were used to pay for subsidies for the Nigerian people and duly approved, why is Okonjo-Iweala’s name being battered in this way?”

“This persecution should stop.”

Okonjo-Iweala had initially defended herself after Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole alleged that she had arbitrarily withdrawn the funds.

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