Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refuted allegation by some governors that she spent $2.1 billion out of the Excess Crude Account without authorization.
A statement issued by her Media Adviser Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, describes the allegation as false, malicious and totally without foundation.
The statement says that no unauthorized expenditure from the Excess Crude Account was made under Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s watch in the Finance Ministry.
According the former Finance Minister, decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.
Part of the statement reads, “It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed National Economic Council for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognized FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist.”
The statement adds that the former minister is ready and willing to respond to legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as Finance Minister.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance has refuted claims that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is leaving behind a backlog of debt to the tune of $63 billion.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke at a forum organised by finance correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital, noted that the explained that the amount was the total debt profile the nation owed between 1960 to date.
While noting that President Jonathan’s administration has the lowest debt profile in the nation’s history, she added that borrowed funds were used to stimulate growth in critical sectors which include the rail, agriculture and power sectors.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, had lamented during a retreat organised for newly elected senators of the APC, that it would take over 228 years to repay Nigeria’s debt, which they said was accumulated by the outgoing administration.
But Dr. Okonjo-Iweala pointed out that the outgoing administration has done measurably well in maintaining low inflation rate, building road networks and improving agricultural productivity, among other accomplishments.