Vanguard (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Reps Probe Alleged Misappropriation of U.S.$67 Billion Foreign Reserve

The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Finance and Appropriation to investigate allegations and counter allegations by the ... ( Resource: Reps To Probe Ezekwesili's Allegation

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the Federal Government's alleged squandering of $67 billion in the last six years.

The alleged squandered sum comprised Nigeria's foreign reserves which stood at $45 billion as well as the excess crude fund which stood at $22 billion as at 2007.

The allegation was made by Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Special Adviser on Public Procurement to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and one time Vice President of the World Bank.

Allegation

She had alleged that the government of late President Umaru Yar'Adua and the current administration mismanaged the huge sum which was left behind by Obasanjo's administration.

The House, in adopting a motion sponsored by Umar Bature (PDP, Sokoto), directed its Committees in charge of Finance and Appropriation to jointly investigate the allegation and report back within six weeks.

Throwing more light on his motion, Bature urged the House to conduct the investigation because of the background of Ezekwesili as Special Adviser to the President on Public Procurement who later became a Minister of Education.

The former minister who had spoken at the 44th convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, held last week had alleged that the squandered sum was made up of direct savings from increased earnings that arose from oil sales which the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor government in 2007.

She had lamented that six years after the administration she served handed over such a huge amount of cash to another one, most Nigerians, especially the poor, continue to suffer the effects of failing public health and education systems as well as decrepit infrastructure and battered institutions.

She had asked: "One cannot but ask what exactly does this level of brazen misappropriation of public resources symbolize? Where did all that money go? Where is the accountability for the use of these resources and the additional funds realised from oil sale by the two administrations that have governed our nation in the last six years?"

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