SPECIAL Assistant on New Media to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has denied media reports credited to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, which indicated that Jonathan’s administration failed to account for $48 billion oil money.
Omokri, in a statement made available on Sunday, said Amaechi was toying with the truth, adding that the minister was merely echoing allegations that had been thoroughly discredited.
Amaechi had claimed in media report on Sunday that the nation would not be in recession if the said amount had been remitted.
But Omokri, who sent the piece from his United States base, said that the allegation was unfounded, adding that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had not pursued that line because it was clear that there was no truth in it.
“Nigerians will recall that this discredited allegation was made by the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who went on to change the amount that was missing three times.
“In September 2013, the then Governor of CBN alleged that the sum of $49.8 billion was not remitted to the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
“When he was challenged on this amount by the National Assembly, the then Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the NNPC, Sanusi, on December 18, 2013, reduced the amount that was missing to $10.8 billion.
“In February 2014, the then CBN governor wrote another letter to the Senate, admitting that he did not know how much was unaccounted for. He said it could be ‘$10.8 billion or $12 billion or $19 billion or $21 billion — we do not know at this point.’
“Eventually, it was established that no such monies were missing and even the Buhari administration has kept quiet about the matter, knowing that it was propaganda to pull down the previous administration,” Omokri wrote.
According to the aide of the former president, it was dishonest for Amaechi to raise the allegation which had been roundly discredited and found to be untrue.
According to him, while Jonathan met $6.5 billion in Excess Crude Account, it raised it to $9 billion before the then House of Representatives declared it illegal in 2012, forcing the government to share over N2 trillion to the states.
“Nigerians should realise that it is no coincidence that this allegation is coming just days after the revelation that no record exists of Nigeria’s crude oil sales since June of 2015.
“Flowing from the above, Nigerians should see Amaechi’s most recent verbal diarrhoea as an attempt to divert attention from pressing questions that demand timely answers,” he said.
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