Unaccounted $10.8b: Okonjo-Iweala Presses President For Urgent Action
Says All She Wants Is The Truth SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, (THEWILL) - Nigeria's Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan for an urgent independent forensic audit to determine whether there is a shortfall in funds due to the federation from the sale of crude oil by the state owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
There have been controversies following the conflicting claims between the NNPC and the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over billions of dollars that the latter claims the NNPC has not remitted to the account of the federation.
Sanusi pegged the shortfall at $20 billion and says it is missing from the account of the NNPC.
In a statement sent to the BBC, the finance minister said all she wants is the truth from the forensic audit expected to be conducted by independent external auditors under the purview of the Auditor-General of the federation.
"The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has asked for urgent action with regard to an independent forensic audit of conflicting claims of unaccounted funds made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamdio Sanusi,' the statement said, according to the report published on the BBC's website.
'My position on this has been clear from the start.
The Ministry of Finance's reconciliation showed a shortfall of $10.
8bn in NNPC remittances to the Federation account.
After this, the conflicting claims continued with new figures such as $20bn being mentioned.
"So since 13th February I have called for an independent forensic audit.
"President Goodluck Jonathan indeed announced last night that there will be an investigation into whether there are any funds missing from NNPC.
He also indicated that the correct process needs to be followed in this investigation and I understand that the entity that has the proper authority to initiate such an investigation is the Auditor-General of the federation.
"I therefore want to see the truth from an investigation under the auspices of the Auditor-General, which in my view should be undertaken as a matter of extreme urgency by independent external auditor," the Minister said.