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Missing N30trn: Ribadu defends Okonjo-Iweala

04 February 2015, 11:59

Abuja - Nuhu Ribadu, former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday said alleged missing N30 trillion under the watch of Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was not possible.

Ribadu made this known in an interview in Abuja.

"I was baffled and got deluded for anyone to say that N30 trillion got lost. I think we just have to look at what we earn as a country and what our budget had been in these few years and see how possible it is.

"If everything we earned is not up to that within the period she has been the minister, which is about three to four years, then we need to be careful.

"We need to be careful to avoid more damage to our nation, because there are certain things that when it comes out, it will never go back again,’’ he said

He said that while working under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala was the economic team leader and she coordinated the economic policy of the administration effectively.

"I challenge anybody to say that she stole N1 at that time; we were all there, I was in charge of EFCC and I want to hear anybody say that she did this and that.

"And, I followed her up till now. I think it is somehow uncharitable for someone to come out to say that such an amount of money was missing under her watch,’’ he said.

Ribadu, who is the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa, said that controversies being raised about the nation’s economy was unfortunate, adding that Okonjo-Iweala was of impeccable integrity and well respected.

According to him, when I worked with her, she exhibited a nationalistic attitude that was not questionable and believed in any policy that could take Nigeria and its people high.

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

"I am a little disturbed with what I have been hearing in the last couple of days where many things are being said and some are totally out of placed with some of the result we have achieved in the economy.

"I believe that even if people are not together working as a team, we still exhibit honour. In our team, she did well,’’ he said.

The former EFCC boss advised that people must advocate for things that were geared towards the unity of the country and avoid controversies that would cause more harm to the system.

According to him, the volatility in the price of oil in the global market is beyond anybody’s control in Nigeria.

He urged Nigerians to help preserve the country’s models who were globally respected, adding that Okonjo-Iweala remained one Nigerian with global recognition of high integrity.



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