NNPC Missing Money: Focus On Key Issues, Not Drama – Awoyemi

Following the backlash which trailed CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, disclosing that the NNPC is owing $49.8 billion dollars, an amount which analysts have said is enough to cover the nation’s budget for three years, Economist Femi Awoyemi has cautioned Nigerians to focus on the key issues and not the controversial exchange between the two agencies.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Awoyemi stressed that the implication of the disagreements between the two agencies puts the Nigerian economy at stake as well as the integrity of those who occupy offices.

“Sometime in June/July 2013, CBN had the pre-shipment inspection documents and found out that about 600 million barrels of oil had been shipped out, and from his records he would have expected about 65.3 billion dollars but what he got in was about 15 billion dollars.

“Normally, when you have such discrepancies there would be an exchange between the CBN, NNPC and thereafter with the Ministry of Finance.

“If this had been done and they did not get any answer, it is consistent therefore for Central Bank to then escalate the matter. My own interpretation would be that, it was therefore escalated by writing to the president.”

The economist who adjudged the CBN governor’s move as right because all the agencies report to the president, said that all agencies involved should have been summoned by the President considering the amount of money alleged to be missing, which is up to the nation’s budget for 2 years.

“If the figures were true, we are talking about Nigeria’s budget for two years aggregated together,” he said.

“The letter finding its way into the public domain should trigger a sense of responsibility knowing well that it has a huge impact on Nigeria’s economy, financial standing and rating especially to the global society,” Awoyemi said.

Awoyemi said the proper action would have been for authorities to clear the air and allay fears but “since we are in a system where we trust each other less, it took a political undertone.”

Despite the severity of the crisis at hand, many have said there is a disconnection between the two agencies which can create suspicion in the minds of the people.

Reacting to NNPC’s claim that the CBN is ignorant of the structures by which it remits revenue to the Federation Account, Mr Awoyemi said:

“If the Central Bank of Nigeria does not therefore understand the way and manner in which the NNPC is structuring its businesses or enough to understand what it is expecting in the Federation Account or how those monies get back to it, then that’s a key issue Nigerians should be interested in knowing.”

“It is a discrepancy more in processes and understanding of how affairs are conducted,” he added.


2015: With Or Without Contesting, Jonathan Will Be President – Asari Dokubo

Inspite of the crisis rocking the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the alleged desperation of the Northern elites to produce the next president of the country, a Niger Delta activist, Asari Dokubo has said that President Goodluck Jonathan will emerge as leader with or without a contest, hinting that there would be bloodshed otherwise.

Speaking on Politics Today, he said “2015 is already a settled matter; Goodluck Jonathan will be president in 2015. Whether they contest or they don’t contest, Goodluck Jonathan will be president,” he said adding that he would be ready for violence if needed.

He described claims that he only defends people or governments that benefit him as “an insult” on his person. “That’s an insult and they are lying and they will continue to lie and die in their lies,” he said.

He continued by saying “I am 50 years old. I fought all government. In the June 12 battle I was in the fore front, I did not gain”.

He stated that his allegiance is to President Jonathan because he is as an Ijaw man. He added that his support is biased because “charity begins at home”.

Abacha and Obasanjo had their supporters “so why should I leave my own?” he asked.

“Monkey no fine, him mama like am” he said.

He also denied benefiting from the abundance of crude oil in the Niger Delta and accused Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola of reaping from that which belongs to him, his children and ancestors.

Oil Thieves Need Enlightenment – Agency

The National Co-ordinator, Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), Joy Nunieh-Okunnu, has said that what oil thieves need is enlightenment on the effects their illegal activities have on the environment and the communities in which they operate.

“The only thing that you can do is to give them some form of enlightenment, to teach them the effects of Hydro Carbon.”

Speaking on this edition of Question Time, Nunieh-Okunnu talks about the efforts the environmental pollution clean-up unit of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is making to ensure the well-being of the Ogoni people and other communities affected by Hydro-Carbon pollution.

She revealed that plans are underway to introduce the subject to students in secondary schools.

She said that the minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has asked that a team of professors be commissioned to prepare resources to be used in teaching students, the effects of hydro-carbon, in secondary schools.

She added that there are plans to carry out a campaign in the affected communities but urged individuals living along the pipeline right of way to relocate.

HYPREP is part of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Nigeria.