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Jonathan missed the point on missing N30 trn - Soludo

25 February 2015, 10:12

Abuja - A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwumah Soludo, has faulted the response of President Goodluck Jonathan to his claim that N30 trillion was missing from the Nigerian economy.

Soludo said in a statement on Tuesday that the  article entitled: “Jonathan Replies Soludo over missing N30 trillion,” which was extracted from the president’s interview with THISDAY Newspaper did not capture the points he raised, probably because the president was too busy with election campaigns that he did not read his article.

President Jonathan as saying that “Soludo said  under Ngozi’s watch they stole N30 trillion” but that since the sum of the federal budget over the last four years was less than N30 trillion, such an amount could not have been “stolen.”

Also referring to Soludo’s allegation, the President said “it is all political.”

Soludo noted that he had earlier stated that he would not make further comments on the issues until probably after the elections but that since the president has decided to join the fray, he was constrained to make a further brief clarification.

Also read: Soludo claims N30 trillion was missing under Okonjo-Iweala

Soludo noted that he had earlier stated that he would not make further comments on the issues until probably after the elections but that since the president has decided to join the fray, he was constrained to make a further brief clarification.

“For me, President Jonathan is a gentleman and a friend but I have a fundamental disagreement on his management of the economy. On the issues at stake, I believe that the pressures of office and the hectic electioneering have not allowed him time to read my articles or that his staff have not explained the contents to him hence he totally missed the point in his comments,” Soludo said.

The former CBN boss further stated that in his article entitled “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Missing Trillions,” he had presented some rough calculations covering oil theft, money that ought to accrue to stock of foreign reserves, unbudgeted oil subsidy payments, customs duty waivers, leakages through the self-financing government parastatals, unremitted sums by the NNPC, among others.

According to him, he concluded section of the article by noting that: “I have a long list but let me wait for now.

“I do not want to talk about other ‘black pots’ that impinge on national security. My estimate, Madam, is that probably more than N30 trillion has either been stolen or lost or unaccounted for or simply mismanaged under your watchful eyes in the past four years,” he added.

Soludo said it was evident that the monies he referred to are “off-budget” are monies that did not make it to the budget.

“I find it funny that the government deliberately avoided the issues raised above but instead has sought to divert attention by focusing on the “federal budget”. Let me state for the record that I believe that the amount of resources that are either stolen from the economy or out-rightly mismanaged by government far exceeds the federal budget per annum.

“Ours is about a N100 trillion economy, and I will be shocked if the government pretends that it does not know that currently about 10 per cent of the GDP falls into a ‘black hole’ on annual basis,” he said.

- News 24


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