GTB 737 banner Yudala banner

Soludo vs Okonjo-Iweala: Revisiting the N30 trillion mismanagement claim, By Prof. Sylvester Monye

By News Express on 09/02/2015

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 1,846


I am really saddened and deeply troubled by the turn of events over the last few days by the tone of the debate on the economy and the personalities involved. The two principal actors are people who are not just close to me, but respected internationally in the field of economics. In his latest article, Professor Chukwuma Soludo alleges that over N30 trillion is missing or stolen or unaccounted for, or simply mismanaged under Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s watch. Using the average dollar exchange rates since May 2011, the sum of N30 trillion is equivalent to about US$193 billion!! The trained mind will already decipher that this cannot be true, but for the sake of others, let me state clearly why such a huge amount cannot possibly be missing.

First, the assertion by Professor Soludo that on average 400,000 barrels per day are being “stolen” cannot be correct. From my vantage position as former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, I know that on several occasions, the government has made it clear that between 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day are being lost to pipeline vandals. In fact, my recollection is that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was the first person to sound the alarm on the missing barrels. However, the repair of the broken pipelines requires “shut-ins”, that is, the pipelines are closed down, which prevents about 400,000 barrels per day being pumped. So what is not being pumped cannot be stolen. It makes more sense to say that about 250,000 to 300,000 barrels over and above what is stolen (which is 50,000 to 100,000) by vandals cannot be pumped and sold, and this is weighing down government revenues.

Second, the claim that gross mismanagement has denied the country some $60 billion is also not true. The government has on numerous occasions given explanations as to why reserves have fallen since the 2008/09 financial crisis. Reserves, particularly the Excess Crude Account component, were used to shore up our economy when the crisis hit and please bear in mind that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was not Minister of Finance at this time. In the same vein, the state governors were not tolerant of the idea of excess crude savings, preferring to share monies that could have built up the reserves. The resistance has been raging from the day the concept of Excess Crude Account was initiated under President Olusegun Obasanjo. In fact, there is a subsisting law suit in the Supreme Court by the governors seeking to share what is left of the Account. Surely, the Minister of Finance cannot be held liable for the behaviour of our governors. If anyone is truly convinced of gross mismanagement of our reserves, we need to show courage in our conviction by asking the State Governors to account for their respective shares of the Excess Crude Account over the last six years. In any event, it is the CBN Governor who should account for the management of the reserves.

Lastly, no one can now say that $20 billion is missing from NNPC. The fact of the matter is that a forensic audit, led by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, has been carried out, and the audit report has just been released. The conclusion of this forensic investigation is that NO MONEY IS MISSING!!!

In this same article, Professor Soludo accused the Honourable Minister of Finance of manipulating national statistics, particularly poverty numbers. This cannot be a fair accusation from my brother. The integrity of data from the National Bureau of Statistics is now generally applauded by both international bodies and local institutions. It is, therefore, not wise to disparage a fledgling national institution in this manner. However, for the avoidance of doubt, my simple response to that accusation is that Nigerians should read pages 16 to 18 of the “Nigerian Economic Report 2014”, published by the World Bank. This can be found on the link: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2014/07/23/000470435_20140723133415/Rendered/PDF/896300WP0Niger0Box0385289B00PUBLIC0.pdf

Though Professor Soludo’s intellect and capacity is not in any doubt, I will strongly advise the Honourable Minister of Finance not to respond to his recent article, as the debate will lead us nowhere, but will only serve to further overheat the polity. My take is that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has received many accolades internationally for her contribution to global economic development and to Nigeria’s economic growth and stability, must not be distracted from her daily job of managing our economy through the tough times ahead.  

•Professor Sylvester Monye, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is President, Africa Institute for Public Policy and former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

Source News Express

Posted 09/02/2015 9:44:54 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
Boko Haram abducts 14 women in highway ambush...

2015: PDM meets in Port Harcourt •Tonye Princewill...

Traditional media must be defenders of truth: Obaze...

Pastor, 9 other Nigerian travellers thrown out of...

Gowon launches NYSC healthcare initiative

150 perish in Ghana fire and floods

Death of Awo’s son a loss to Nigeria...

Airtel disconnects unregistered lines

40 suicide bombers sneak into Borno

24-hour curfew imposed on parts of troubled Southern...

Killers of Army Colonel arraigned, remanded in prison...

Stolen N310m not Saraki’s — DSS

 

Latest News 55 Bishops grace Obiano’s mother’s burial Japanese Govt. donates hospital to FCT Edo Govt. moves to create 200,000 jobs Lagos LG Polls: TMG expresses fears over tension in Mushin, other areas; warns LASIEC Notorious armed robber nabbed in Katsina Enugu Govt. releases fund to Electoral Commission for council polls Senate wants N200 to US$ rate for pilgrims Anambra Guber primaries: APC alleges plot to compromise NWC Senate to consider Constitution Review Committee Report Tuesday WASCE: Ikpeazu congratulates Abia school children, vows to prioritise teachers welfare Bayelsa Council workers set to down tools over unpaid salaries INEC asks court to set aside interim order on Melaye’s recall

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (266,006 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (246,778 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (201,172 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (172,221 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (168,999 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (150,896 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (130,569 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (123,368 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (115,105 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (107,267 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (106,957 views) APC cries foul as PDP’s Fayose takes early lead in Ekiti governorship election (99,584 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (27) Business (2,631) Business Verdict (18) Columnists (714) Complaints & Requests (92) Enterprise & Opportunities (164) Entertainment (343) Features (470) Global Business Monitor (163) International (1,457) Interviews (126) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (63) News (26,645) Opinion (755) Pidgin (8) Politics (3,806) Religion (579) Sports (1,287) Stock Watch (20) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN words on marble advert

 

 

Senator Adeleke on the dancing steps in London

 

APO Newsbreak logo

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!