The former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, says the repeated battering of her name in the media in recent times by some politicians needs to stop.
Okonjo-Iweala has been accused by Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole of spending N2.1 billion from the Excess Crude account ECA without proper approval. The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee which comprises of all Finance commissioners from the 36 states yesterday stated that they were not informed when the former Minister approved the release of N2.1 billion from the ECA.
We thank the Finance Commissioners for their clarification on the use of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and for acknowledging that this is not an Okonjo-Iweala issue.
The statement clearly shows that Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) is a statutory body which is chaired by the Hon. Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.
Payments made were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by Mr President.
Therefore there is no question of mismanaging any resources here.
For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did Dr. Okonjo-Iweala say that FAAC approved such expenditures. What she said was that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states.
It is therefore clear that there was no misrepresentation by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.
The question before us is: why is there such an excessive attempt to batter her name in an attempt to damage her reputation? It is clear as I said in my previous statement that the motive is malicious and very political and therefore will not succeed.
If monies were used to pay for subsidies for the Nigerian people and duly approved, why is Okonjo-Iweala’s name being battered in this way?
This persecution should stop.