Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has again accused Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, of funding the ill-fated re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan with $1 billion illegally deducted from the Federation Account.
BusinessDay reports that Oshiomhole made the allegation in Benin City while declaring open a seminar organised by the state Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors, with the theme ‘Enhancing IGR in Edo, Issues, Prospects and Challenges.’
“The former minister also need to tell Nigerians how the Excess Crude Account was drawn down to $4.1 billion from the peak of $10 billion when no approval was given by the National Economic Council for any withdrawals.
“The truth is, many things went wrong even at the federal level. As you might have read in the papers, while the Federal Government, under Goodluck Jonathan, with the then coordinating minister of the economy liked to blame ‘Governors’ for wasteful spending, for not saving for the rainy day, for not investing properly; the truth is, the real weakness in the Nigerian federal chain has been the Federal Government.
“Our hope is that with the new president, given his pedigree, we will break from the past. As I’m sure you will soon begin to hear when all the numbers are published. Last week, I complained aloud that Edo State lost about N10 billion over a four year period from only one source, the NLNG remittance to the federation account,” he said.
The governor said he arrived at the figure with the used of a figure table, saying “how did I arrive at the figure? I used my 4-Figure Table and I asked myself at $2.1 billion remitted by NLNG as taxes and Shell. And by the way, Shell is not the only oil operative, we have Chevron and several others. They shared the $2.1 billion based on the revenue allocation formula, Edo State got about N2.27 billion.
“So, I said, thank God this money came after the departure of Okonjo-Iweala and President Jonathan. If the PDP were still in charge in Abuja, this money would have been taken.
He however said the state government would henceforth hold Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors responsible for any fraud detected in their departments, as the administration had trimmed down the cost of running government.