$45BN FOREIGN RESERVE: AGAIN EZEKWESILI CHALLENGES FG TO PUBLIC HEARING
The former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has again challenged the federal government to the public hearing called by the National Assembly to unravel the mystery over the depleted foreign reserve.
Ezekwesili in a statement to LEADERSHIP yesterday said that now that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has finally admitted 'Fiscal Leakages,' 'perhaps with a debate we can all learn more.'
She said: 'Why won't the FG agree to the public hearing called by National Assembly? It was scheduled for the 5th and when invited, I had to painfully cancel my trips abroad for long scheduled commitments only to be told that the Executive was not ready?
'They were not and are still not ready for a public discussion of the issues, but they seize every opportunity to make side comments on such a serious issue.'
The former minister, who noted that the issue was not about her but about Nigeria, said citizens had right to know how the political class abused public trust with impunity.
According to her, 'the key fact is that even by the time of that crisis when Soludo had to defend the naira with our foreign reserve, he spent about $15b of it and still left behind about $45b when he left as Central Bank Governor in 2009.'
Wondering why the foreign reserve was starting to grow back to the same size it was in 2009 after such hefty earnings of the last four years, she maintained that the federal government numbers did not add up at all.
She explained that within the period oil prices had averaged between $95 and $100 per barrel, even as Nigeria exported an average of 750 million barrels per annum, adding that her call for accountability was simply a patriotic call which should not result in the name calling by officials of government.
She further stressed that the CBN governor, more than anyone, undertood her speech and what she meant, saying the foreign reserve was $45b and not $67b