December 22, 2013 | Opinion/Feature
SLS AND HIS BOGUS MISSING $49.8B
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has once again dragged the reputation of the apex bank to the mud. His recent gaffe, contained in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, which insinuated theft of $49.8bn from the sale of the nation's crude oil has, by his own admission, proved to be unfounded. Looking like a rain-beaten chicken and ill at ease at a press conference that he gave last week alongside the ministers of Finance and Petroleum Resources, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke respectively, Sanusi ate the humble pie when he garbled an explanation that $12bn was the actual amount unaccounted for. In the light of his tendency to shoot without crosschecking his facts, I would like to caution Nigerians to take Sanusi's new accusation with a heavy dose of salt. But at the same press briefing where he revised his stolen oil money figure downwards, the Minister of Finance, Okonji-Iweala, discountenanced Sanusi's accusation. She told Nigerians that a total sum of $10.8bn was yet to be reconciled between the CBN and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). While I would like to join all well-meaning Nigerians who are genuinely interested in the Nigerian project in urging urgent reconciliation of this figure in the interest of the nation's economy, I consider it duty-bound on me as a patriotic Nigerian to raise the alarm about the now obvious plans of some political elements to use the CBN governor as part of their plans to heat up the polity and destabilise our dear country. In rapid succession, Nigerians have been inundated by Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal's 'body language' accusation; Sanusi's now-proven-to-be-false $49.8bn oil money theft accusation; and former President Olusegun Obasanjo's infamous 'letter bomb' (that has been roundly condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians), in which the former president unfortunately referenced Sanusi's false and malicious accusation. As he rounds off his tenure as CBN governor, I understand that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi may feel he has no stake in the future well-being of Nigeria, since his only desire in life, after his tenure at the apex bank, is to become the Emir of Kano. At the same time, I would like to strongly urge him not to allow himself to be used, by those who do not wish Nigeria well, to undermine the capacity of the Federal Government under President Jonathan to transparently run the economy. He should not allow desperate power seekers to use him to sabotage the country. Written By Johnson Momodu [email protected]
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