By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has accused the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of mismanaging the nation’s economy in the last four years and feeding Nigerians with half-truths.
Oshiomhole, in an article in which he review the nation’s economy in the last four years, said Okonjo-Iweala ran the Excess Crude Account as a one-man show, adding that her recent outcry that oil marketers were falsifying subsidy claims might have been done in fear of the incoming president, Muhammadu Buhari.The governor said: “As the country transits from one democratic dispensation to another, there is no gainsaying the fact that the state of the nation’s economy is the focal point, especially with the unending fuel scarcity which is gradually grinding the nation to a halt. No doubt, the best person to explain the state of the economy today is Dr Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, whose management of the nation’s resources these past four years has elicited different reactions from Nigerians.
“As a member of the National Economic Council, I had spoken out at different times at NEC meetings and even in public on the way the economy was managed under Dr Okonjo-Iweala. Again, I want to share my views with the public on some of the issues affecting the Nigerian nation.
“Recently, Okonjo-Iweala has been all over the place, pointing in the wrong directions and blaming everybody but herself for the parlous state of the Nigerian economy. Coming after her deafening silence on the Pricewaterhouse Coopers, PwC, audit of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, crude oil sales and receipts, which revealed massive abuse of public trust and stealing of our common patrimony in high places under her watch and the government she serves, it is quite intriguing that with barely few days left in office, she has suddenly woken up from her slumber to realise that oil marketers have been all along falsifying subsidy claims and defrauding the nation of billions of naira and dollars.
“This latter day policy activism on her part deserves closer scrutiny and interrogation. Perhaps for fear of the incoming President, Gen. Buhari, come May 29, 2015, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is now compelled to disclose to Nigerians that a cabal is holding the country and the government to ransom. Beside the abuse of the subsidy regime, we will insist that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also comes clean on some other critical issues that demand accountability from her and her office.”
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