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I stand by my statement on missing N30trn, says Soludo

By The Citizen
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Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Prof Chukwuma, Charles Soludo, on Wednesday said he would not capitulate on his earlier claim of sleaze and mismanagement of the Ni­gerian economy under the watch of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, despite her decision not to join issues with him on the matter.

He is however insisting that over N30 trillion of the na­tion's revenue is missing or has been mismanaged under the Minister.

In a three paragraph state­ment titled 'I stand by my statements', Soludo, explained he has also decided to with­hold part 2 and 3 of his three part response following the minister's decision not to con­tinue with a debate that has generated so much contro­versy within and outside the country.

The former CBN gover­nor's statement read in part 'My attention has been drawn to statements credited to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, in response to my lat­est article and call for a struc­tured debate on the issues. According to the report, she no longer wants to join issues with me. In the circumstance of the moment, I therefore withhold parts two and three of my promised three-part re­sponse.

Let me also state for the avoidance of doubt that I stand by every statement I made in the two articles viz: (1) 'Buhari Vs Jonathan: Be­yond the Elections'; and (2) 'Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Missing Trillions'. In par­ticular, I insist that over N30 trillion has either been stolen or unaccounted for, or grossly mismanaged over the last few years. This figure does not include the estimated $40.9 billion (N8.6 trillion at parallel market exchange rate or near­ly two years' Federal Gov­ernment budget) which the African Union's (AU) recent report claims to be 'stolen' from Nigeria each year…'

He thanked Nigerians all over the world who have con­tributed to the debate so far, pointing out that with elec­tions around the corner, it was expected that some vested interests will either choose to live in denial or attempt to politicise the issues.

Soludo noted however that he was convinced from the debate so far, Nigeria's eco­nomic management strategies would no longer be the same again as the managers now know that the citizens will rig­orously and vigorously chal­lenge them to account for their actions and inactions, stress­ing that the nation would be better for it.

According to him, who­ever wins has his job cut out for him, and to the extent that this debate has challenged the respective teams to seriously re-examine their blueprints to guarantee the security and prosperity of every Nigerian, the objective of his recent ar­ticle has been accomplished since Nigeria must survive and prosper beyond Buhari or Jonathan.

Recall that in a controver­sial piece in the public space recently, the ex CBN boss had alleged that Nigerian economy has been grossly mismanaged under Okonjo Iweala as Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as an estimated N30 trillion may either have been looted or unaccounted for.

But in her response to Soludo's earlier claims, the Finance Minister accused him of aggravating the nation's banking crisis having left a li­ability of over N5trillion. - The Sun.