Jonathan Never Confirmed Withholding $10 Billion From Federation Account – Presidency

Channels Television  
Updated March 25, 2014

jonathan_gesticulationThe Presidency in Nigeria says reports in some domestic media on Tuesday, quoting President Goodluck Jonathan as “confirming” in Amsterdam that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wrongly withheld $10 billion from the Federation Account  are completely false and a total distortion of the president’s comments during his meeting with the Nigerian community in the Netherlands.

In a statement on Tuesday, a spokesman for the President, Dr Reuben Abati, said that at no time during the well-attended reception did President Jonathan also confirm any “irregularities” in the NNPC.

He described sensational reports in the media to that effect as reckless, mischievous and unprofessional misrepresentations of the president’s restatement of the Federal Government’s position on the allegation that $20 billion was “missing” from the NNPC or the Federation Account, by reporters who were not at the event or even in Holland at all.

“President Jonathan’s verifiable words while responding to questions from members of the community on the allegation and other domestic issues were clear and unambiguous,” Abati stated.

He further emphasised that the president asserted that allegation that various sums – $49.8 billion, $12 billion or $20 billion – were missing were inconsistent and lacked credence.

At the meeting, President Jonathan reassured Nigerians of his administration’s continued commitment to openness, transparency and probity in the aftermath of the unsubstantiated allegations.

“The Federal Government has authorised a professional forensic audit of NNPC accounts to clear the air,” President Jonathan said.

The presidency further deplored the mischievous and unethical distortion of President Jonathan’s comments in the media and urged them to show greater regard for truth and accuracy when reporting on the president.