Posted by: Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor) and Chioma Onyia
MINISTER of Finance Ngozi Onkojo-Iweala said yesterday that she is not scared of President Muhammadu Buhari probing her.
She said: “There is no substance in the wild allegations that any money is missing from the account or that finances of the country under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch have not been well managed.”
The minister added that she “has no reason to fear Buhari. Those who cannot adequately explain what they did with the resources of their states and are begging for bailout are those who should to be scared.”
Okonjo-Iweala denied claims by Oshiomhole that she has been speaking out lately because of the “fear of Buhari”.
According to her, “if there is any minister whose voice has been strong on the right issues over the past four years, it is Okonjo-Iweala.”
She said has no apologies for insisting that a claim of N159 billion for Forex differentials by the marketers out of a total bill of N200 billion should go through an additional verification process.
“When 80 per cent of a subsidy claim is made up of Forex differentials and not the value of the amount of fuel supplied, the right and proper thing to do is to take extra steps to ensure that the country is not being cheated. That is what Okonjo-Iweala did,” she said.
On Oshiomhole’s statement that she “must disclose to the nation the full details of subsidy payments made to oil marketers in the last four years”, Okonjo-Iweala described the statement as “astonishing given the fact that every payment made to the marketers has been published in the media and widely disseminated through all news channels.”
She stressed that apart from the monthly publication of allocations to the federal, state and local governments, the Federal Ministry of Finance also published SURE-P receipts and distribution to different tiers, details of payments to oil marketers and other information.
She queried if the governor has demonstrated the same level of openness in his management of the affairs of Edo State.
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