by Danjuma Azemobo Musa
About two weeks ago, I expressed disappointment at CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Volte-face on the unaccounted/missing $49Billion he expressed concerns about in a memo he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan. My disappointment at that time stemmed from the fat that I have known Sanusi for quite some time
and his body language seemed to me that he was not entirely convinced that the said fund was not missing. I thought at that time that SLS was cowed into accepting that everything was ok and that reconciliation was revealing where the missing funds were (mis)applied. I still believe there is something amiss. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Lied (and continues to lie) to Nigerians.
I cannot speculate on why SLS will lie and continue to lie to Nigerians about funds not missing or misapplied especially after he was severely and virulently insulted by cyber bandits and hired television “commentators” doing the bidding of the same people his acceptance of a reconciled figure tends to protect. Could someone (as they say) be holding SLS by the balls?
I have tremendous personal respect for Mallam Sanusi but there are times when silence is no longer golden and for Sanusi, I believe this is one of such times. That is why I think SLS needs to come clean and tell Nigerians what transpired between the time he wrote his memo and the time he appeared (looking cowed) before Makarfi’s Committee in the Nigerian Senate. Sanusi needs to tell Nigerians why he believes that moneys not paid to the federation account but ILLEGALLY expended becomes “unmissing” once reconciled by agencies of government who perpetrate the illegality in the first place. SLS should tell Nigerians why as head of the nation’s Central Bank, he should not be aware of any and every expenditure drawn from our national receipts except after a purported reconciliation.
The senate too, through its committees on appropriation and Finance seemed to have played to the gallery. One wonders why the National Assembly is mum after an admission by the Finance Ministry headed by the coordinating Minister of the Economy that it was aware that there was almost $50 Billion (an amount almost twice our national budget) expended by an agency of government without such monies being remitted to the federation account or even appropriated by the National Assembly.
The truth is that our country has been taken over by thieves and charlatans masquerading as economists and accountants. We are saddled with a government which has compromised our entire financial sovereignty to smooth talking and power point powered merchants of doom. Just as it has been hinted that SLS should proceed on pre-retirement leave, President Goodluck Jonathan should also as a matter of urgency fire the entire top hierarchy of the Finance and Petroleum Ministry as well as that NNPC and call for a full and independent probe of the Nation’s finances. Failure to do this suggests complicity on the part of the president. Failure of Mr. President to heed to this call should call for drastic measure from the National assembly including the possibility of impeachment.
Interestingly, the way the National Assembly is going on as if nothing is wrong is worrisome. It is suggestive of complicity. It started with a =N=2.5Trillion unbudgeted expenditure for payment of subsidy on PMS within a year to a now humongous =N=8 Trillion unbudgeted expenditure out of which we are now told =N=6 Trillion has been “reconciled”. NASS should wake up to its responsibilities, enough of public hearings, self-glorification and grandstanding by members. The national assembly must as a matter of urgency revisit all issues of unremitted funds to the Federation Account and un-appropriated expenditure by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
The NNPC must also be checked and disallowed from operating as a “government of government”. It should be disallowed from operating National Revenue Collection Accounts while proceeds of sales of crude oil and associated products should be remitted to the Federation account from where all obligations against Nigeria must be settled. For how long are we going to keep tolerating NNPC giving us stipends determined by them from sales made on our behalf?