Former finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday said that the unauthorized withdrawal of $2 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) were used for paying for petroleum subsidies for the Nigerian people and were approved by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.
Responding to the statement by members of the Forum of Commissioners of Finance, the Media adviser to Okonjo-Iweala, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, in a statement said: “For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did Dr. Okonjo-Iweala say that FAAC approved such expenditures. What she said was that all these expenditures were discussed at FAAC meetings attended by Finance Commissioners from the 36 states.
“It is therefore clear that there was no misrepresentation by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.”
Nwabuikwu added, “If monies were used to pay for subsidies for the Nigerian people and duly approved, why is Okonjo-Iweala’s name being battered in this way?”
He added that there is no question of mismanaging any resources here.
Nwabuikwu thanked the Finance Commissioners for their clarification on the use of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and for acknowledging that this is not an Okonjo-Iweala issue.
According to him, “The statement clearly shows that Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) is a statutory body which is chaired by the Hon. Minister of State for Finance in which all the states are represented.”
The media adviser lamented the attempts by some people to batter Okonjo-Iweala’s name while reiterating that it is malicious and very political and therefore will not succeed.